I have a question – what was the impact of the 2008 economic crisis on water and sewer infrastructure funding? I have a hypothesis – the amount of monies transferred to non-water and sewer operations increased. Is the hypothesis true?
The next question to answer is that if transfer monies increased, did they decrease once property values started to come back? My hypothesis is no.
Finally what impact does this have on water and sewer infrastructure going forward? I suspect that the answer is that we underfund infrastructure or justify the lack of funding through actuarial means (I actually had a utility director tell me that his pipes were designed to last 250 years. Seriously. Of course that is nonsense, but it is a means to keep your need for replacement funding down).
I have a student and we are working on these issues now. We are going to gather data from several hundred utilities over the next six months, crunch 11 years of data and let’s find out. If you or your clients are interested in adding your data to the mix, please send it to me. I need 2005 -2015 expenditure info. Also some operational data like ADF, MDF, miles of pipe, customers, treatment type and CCR. We will be publishing the results. Should be interesting……