Black & Veatch Announces Completion of 2006 California Water Charge Survey

July 11, 2006

Black & Veatch announced the company’s Enterprise Management Solutions (EMS) Division has completed its 2006 California Water Charge Survey. The survey includes 453 cities and water districts in California and compares water rates and connection fees for residential customers.

Among its many features, the survey analyzes trends in rates, rate structures and connection fees. The study notes that trends of increasing water rates and connection fees can be attributed to an aging infrastructure and rising construction costs, according to Ann R. Bui, senior consultant with Black & Veatch.

Among the study’s findings is that the average residential monthly charge, for 1,500 cubic feet of water a month, increased from $30.33 in 2003 to $36.39 in 2006. This is a total 16.7% increase during the three-year period.

The study also concluded that “many of the water facilities and transmission lines currently in place were designed decades ago and are not adequate for today’s water demands,” Bui said. “As a result, cities and other water purveyors find an increasing need to replace and/or expand facilities.”

Rising construction costs, as a result of price increases for raw materials and labor shortages in the construction industry, are passed on to water customers in the form of higher connect charges and fees, Bui added.

Source: Black & Veatch