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Water Ripples: Expanding Risks for U.S. Water Providers

As numerous western states are considering massive new water supply projects, a new Ceres report is suggesting caution. Citing shrinking federal funds, uncertain water demand and declining revenues to pay for the projects, the report recommends that utilities move carefully before embarking on major pipelines, reservoirs and other new infrastructure that will create financial risks for investors and utility customers alike.

As numerous western states are considering massive new water supply projects, a new Ceres report is suggesting caution.

Citing shrinking federal funds, uncertain water demand and declining revenues to pay for the projects, the report recommends that utilities move carefully before embarking on major pipelines, reservoirs and other new infrastructure that will create financial risks for investors and utility customers alike.

The report also recommends that water demand projections be viewed skeptically by credit rating agencies, investors and policymakers; that investors and credit rating agencies seek better understanding of how rate structures influence demand and revenue streams; and that environmental and consumer groups actively work to build public support for water rates that ensure future water security and affordability.

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