Water System Finance – Overview
These factors, which indicate financial capacity, contribute to a water system’s sustainability.
Financial capacity for a water utility means having the financial resources needed to continue to supply customers with safe drinking water in both the short and long term. This implies keeping enough cash on hand to cover current obligations, such as payroll and bills for supplies and operations, as well as current debt service payments. It also means predicting short and medium term future expenses and maintaining sufficient cash flow to meet those expenses. In addition, it means planning well into the future to upgrade and replace facilities, as well as expand to meet the community’s growth needs or comply with new regulations. For many small water utilities, adequate financial capacity can be difficult to achieve. Such systems often struggle with small populations with low income levels. However, there are many resources available to help small systems operate on business principles and practices.