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The Business of Public Water

Public water utilities deliver more than 80% of the nation’s water to business and residential users. In many regions, these water providers are facing stark fiscal realities from declining revenues, climate change, aging infrastructure and a dearth of federal infrastructure financing. Sustaining our municipal water supplies demands a new business model for public water providers.

Hoover DamPublic water utilities deliver more than 80% of the nation’s water to business and residential users. In many regions, these water providers are facing stark fiscal realities from declining revenues, climate change, aging infrastructure and a dearth of federal infrastructure financing. Sustaining our municipal water supplies demands a new business model for public water providers.

Ceres is working to transform this sector. We educate and engage bond investors who provide financing for utility projects on the risks of unsustainable water use and inadequate pricing. We promote learning among water utilities from across the country around the financial practices that will enable the transition to a new business model built upon flexibility, resilience and resource efficiency.

Through collaboration with our broad network, Ceres is helping this transformation to take place. Utilities are pursuing new strategies for financing and operating public water systems, including greater use of green infrastructure and pricing that encourages water conservation. Credit rating agencies and bond investors are paying closer attention to water scarcity risks. And environmental and taxpayer advocates are using economic arguments to push for smarter water management at the local level, where our public water investment decisions are made.

Resources

Meet the Expert

Sharlene Leurig
Director, Water Program

Sharlene LeurigSharlene directs the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Program at Ceres. She works with water service providers to build business models that are resilient to weather extremes, climate change and resource depletion. She also works closely with bond investors to develop credit risk assessment methods that appropriately value sustainable water governance and resource management, and to construct criteria for investment vehicles that will channel capital toward sustainable water systems.

Learn more about Sharlene