With the launch of Stormwater Utilities nearly three decades ago, the objectives included establishing dedicated funding and addressing the issue of cost recovery from properties contributing stormwater runoff. Sustaining the objectives of funding adequacy and equity in cost recovery can prove to be a challenge over time. While stormwater management needs are ever increasing, as communities address aging infrastructure, changes in climate, rising sea levels, and shifting precipitation patterns, stormwater fees and their rate structures are often treated more as “set it and forget it.” Even with apparent revenue needs, rate increases are generally hard fought for by utility staff and managers. These efforts tend to focus on rates but reviewing the cost recovery aspects is just as important. Without effective data management and revisiting rate structures, utilities risk eroding the equity of cost recovery and overburdening existing customers. Considering the age of many Stormwater Utilities, there is a need to revisit the underlying nexus principles. Many utilities may even require a “REBOOT” to re-evaluating revenue sufficiency, cost recovery, and data management practices. Using Takoma Park, MD’s recent stormwater utility study, we’ll present an effective “utility reboot” framework that encompasses key aspects, such as rate restructure and impervious data management.
201 Waterfront St
Fort Washington, MD 20745