Water utilities are increasing the water rates to gather the amount of capital for the maintenance of the system whose costs have increased if compared with the previous few years. This water and sewer maintenance has increased with a very higher rate than the rate of inflation and that is why since the year 2000 to 2010, increase in water rates has been seen over 23 percent. With the increase in the prices, water utilities are also engaged in planning to communicate the users about the use of water in a way to save it as the demand for water is increasing therefore it is necessary to use the water according to the rising demand.
There is a diverse group of customers and stakeholders who have to be given reports by the board of official and their target is to build support to make changes in the water rates by utilities. So the requirement of at least on body is concerned for the water rates to be approved. Utilities have never been successful in making people aware of the cost which is incurred to provide them water that is clean and perfect for drinking purpose. It requires a complete process and changes with the passage of time. People must have know-how about the infrastructure which needs improvements which would need the resources and during this inflation period, it is the only way of getting resources by charging the water users higher rates.
Many utilities have succeeded in getting tools through which they will gain the attention of the users and make them aware of the costs so that the efficient management can be done and infrastructure can be made better with the help of setting enough water rates.
Involvement of customers and other stakeholders in the policy making is beneficial. When the customers will be allowed to take part in the adjustment of the rates, they will know their value and they will understand the necessary steps to be taken by the utilities. Town meetings and the advisory committees are the source of communication for the utilities for the changing in the rates.
Utilities have the ability to demonstrate the benefits of water usage by using more efficient ways clearly, the ways in which utilities are interested to implement. Members may ask questions regarding the rates and utilities management must have preparation to handle those questions to make the customers satisfied with the answers.
Demonstrations given in order to convince the customers should be made according to the kind of audience. Every utility has different problems and stories so they have to be tailored according to them. Most concerning thing is the economic development and financial and physical condition of the utility. So preparation for such discussion would be better. The impact of individual’s bill or the ways of reducing the bills or the benefits of increase in rates, all are the concerned thins.