As our service area population grows, it not only impacts the demand for water, but also increases the need for additional wastewater collection and treatment services.
We all benefit from the planning done by previous generations for the water we use today – and future generations depend on us to plan wisely for them. While water conservation will help us meet future needs by stretching our existing supply, we cannot meet the demand without new supply and projects. LCMUA has contributed to UTRWD’s 50 year water plan and has made a commitment to support those strategies to ensure adequate water supplies.
In our planning cycles, we assess both water and wastewater services to ensure we can adequately meet the future demand. To ensure reliable, uninterrupted water delivery now and in the future, ongoing investments are needed to maintain our existing system with planning for additional infrastructure. Preparing for growth and maintaining compliance with environmental regulations are the two key factors driving costs.
Each year, we establish budgets to operate, maintain, and improve our systems. Our systems are experiencing increasing fixed costs to address growing capacity needs and regulatory requirements. Critical repairs, system expansions, and condition assessments require investments now to avoid the risks of damage that can impact the environment and result in costly fines.
Large capital projects require upfront investment – sometimes years before customers experience the benefit. By funding projects with bonds, we can spread those costs over time so that future users share in the costs. Financing this way requires rate adjustments to maintain our financial stability and high credit ratings. This results in lower interest rates for financing projects, ultimately saving customers money in lower borrowing costs.
Customers frequently ask why rates need to go up if they are conserving water. Water rates are not only set by the amount of water used, but for the costs associated with operating, maintaining, and expanding our system, as well as to repay debt for existing pipelines and facilities.