BCWWA – Municipal Utility Financial Sustainability

Presentation by Ian Ross-Innes P.Eng – Dayton &Knight.

Water Quality at the Tap is a huge municipal responsibility – and for that reason, you can see why Privatization of Water has been so popular around the world – the popular thinking is that private organizations are better equipped to follow all the required checks and balances to provide quantity and quality of water. Particularly when municipalities have had little money to invest in infrastructure systems. Examples of this abound all around the world, particularly in areas like India where the British had invested in infrastructure until the 40’s, then nothing had been done to upgrade it for years.

What causes this type of infrastructure failure?
Walkerton? Battleford? Electrical failures in Eastern US/Canada in 2003? Has this type of failure already occured in North America? The rumblings if this problem have.

Definition of Sustainable Water Supply
Water Quantity and Quality at the tap – every hour of every day for 50 years. That is sustainable. Funding that actually pays for itself.

What is the relationship between water and sewer systems? Granular bedding. Informal cross -connect does occur through poor construction practices.

Communication and Understanding
Technical – Financial – Council – Public
How can we improve the communication between these parties?

Utility Financial Model
The model calculates the cost of capital improvements required to serve a growing population and the associated O&M costs. This is an interesting model that allows the user to input the population driven capital requirements, as well as ongoing maintenance of the existing system, against the revenue to the system.

Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.