Stormwater utility leaders say they would focus on proactive rehabilitation of assets, enhanced resiliency and improving water quality efforts if they had adequate funding, according to Black & Veatch Management Consulting’s latest “Stormwater Utility Survey Report.” Based on a nationally-recognized survey of stormwater utilities, the report continues to show an “alignment gap” among program needs and costs, revenue levels and customer acceptance against the backdrop of a gradual increase in the average monthly single-family residential charge.
This report, the 13th by Black & Veatch, also includes insights from three municipal stormwater utility managers from Colorado, North Carolina and Washington. They share their perspectives on the benefits of user fee funding, capital program financing practices, affordability, stakeholder engagement and pandemic response.
“While municipalities have a long way to go in enhancing their community’s stormwater management and funding adequacy, this report reflects that many utilities that have dedicated funding mechanisms are striving to implement industry best practices related to asset management planning, capital financing and stakeholder engagement,” said Prabha Kumar, managing director and stormwater utility practice lead within Black & Veatch Management Consulting LLC’s Strategic Advisory practice.
The report’s roundtable section, Kumar added, “further highlights how utilities in different geographies address similar challenges in diverse ways with an eye towards embracing best practices and paving the way to address longer-term needs.”
This benchmark report is regarded as a key resource for municipalities to help inform and shape their strategy and budget planning activities. Some of the other notable highlights include:
- Funding adequacy, public awareness and support for stormwater management, and aging infrastructure were the top-ranked challenges facing stormwater management programs.
- An interesting finding in this year’s survey is that 68 percent of the respondents indicate that their utility customers perceive their stormwater charges to be affordable.
The 2021 Stormwater Utility Survey Report can be downloaded here.