AwwaRF Announces Report on Conservation-Aware Rate Structures

Report features information on billing system requirements and the costs and potential issues of implementing water budgets

Awwa Research Foundation (AwwaRF) recently announced the publication of a new report on water budget-based water rates as a conservation and drought response tool for utilities.

AwwaRF sponsored the study on which the report is based in collaboration with the city of San Diego to provide water agencies with information on the benefits and challenges of water budget rate structures. The study also examined the potential uses of water budgets during drought and the steps for their implementation by utilities.

Water budgets—the quantity of water required by an efficient level of water use based on customer-specific characteristics and conservative standards—are an innovative means of improving water use efficiency. Although water budget-based rate structures are not new, improved technology is making them increasingly attractive and effective as a tool by which water suppliers can send a fair and meaningful price signal to customers about their water use. The method also helps reduce water waste, increase efficiency and manage drought response in a sensible and equitable manner.

“As population increases and climate uncertainties put more demand and stresses on water systems, utilities are seeking new tools for water conservation and drought response,” said Robert C. Renner, executive director of AwwaRF. “This research report will help water suppliers evaluate water budget-based rate structures for use at their facilities as they work to provide sustainable and affordable drinking water for their customers.”

The research report features information on billing system requirements and the costs and potential issues of implementing water budgets. Case studies of utilities across the U.S. that have already implemented this type of system are also included.

The report will become publicly available later this year. To learn more, please go to


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