Neda Simeonova is editorial director of Water & Wastes Digest. Simeonova can be reached at [email protected] or 847.391.1011.
Jan 16, 2012

The Best Approach

Bad economy or not, water districts must keep water flowing to their customers. In a weak economy, many utilities see a dramatic reduction in revenue streams, and rate adjustments are bound to follow.

Many cities, however, continue to apply flat rate charges as part of their water pricing policies. In Chicago, for example—which I am proud to call home—approximately 70% of residential properties aren’t charged for water on an amount-used basis. But in the last few years, the Chicago Department of Water Management introduced its MeterSave program, offering non-metered Chicago homeowners the opportunity to voluntarily install meters.

Installing metering technology is a solid way to address accurate usage charges, but the general population is doubtful of these initiatives, often wondering, “What’s the catch?”

In your opinion, what is the best way to approach the public when shifting from a flat rate policy to metering technology? Share your thoughts at [email protected].