From state to state, how are water utilities meeting the fiscal challenges of providing a reliable and safe water supply, at a reasonable rate, while staying operationally efficient? Will the smaller utilities be able to stay afloat? Chairman Alaina Burtenshaw of the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, who also serves as a Co-Vice Chair of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ (NARUC) Committee on Water, explains how state utility commissions are helping water utilities improve operations and how the NARUC gets state water utility interests seen and heard at the national level. Chairman Burtenshaw identifies a number of regulatory tools that utility commissions are using to improve the regulatory process for water utilities.
In this Session, You’ll Learn about:
- The mission of the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and its Committee on Water.
- Regional differences across the U.S. in how water is regulated.
- How Chairman Burtenshaw takes Nevada’s water regulation issues to the broader congressional, federal and industry conversations and policy agendas.
- The relationship between water utilities and the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Why water is classified differently from other utilities and is a much larger regulatory responsibility.
- The biggest misunderstanding the public has about water.
- Why some say that our rates do not reflect the full cost of water.
- The current issues surrounding uses and reuses of water and wastewater.
- Current regulations in place for water conservation.
- The double-bind for water utilities as they attempt to operate profitably under the pressure of both water conservation regulations and revenue requirements.
- What tools and incentives are available to help small water utilities, and how rate-payers and utilities benefit.
- The process for utilities to raise rates.
- How The Safe Drinking Water Act is impacting rates in some states.
Resources and Links Mentioned in or Relevant to this Session Include:
- State of Nevada Public Utilities Commission
- National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissions (NARUC)
- US Environmental Protection Agency
- National Association of Water Companies and its 2014 Water Summit
- Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA)
- Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)
- Global Water Intelligence’s American Water Summit
Click here to download the Transcript for Session 29 of The Water Values Podcast.
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