New edition of industry guidebook released

September 01, 2014

The Fourth Edition of the industry guidebook Water and Wastewater Finance and Pricing: The Changing Landscape has recently been released. This book was written by numerous Raftelis Financial Consultants staff and other leading industry experts as a guide to financial management and pricing practices for water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities. Below is a note from George Raftelis, the book’s primary editor and author and the founder of Raftelis. Click here to purchase or learn more about the book.

Note from George Raftelis

Over the years, it has been an honor to assist our utility clients in developing and implementing effective financial, pricing, and management systems.  As we have attempted to deliver high-quality service, we have looked to improve the way the industry addresses its financial and management challenges.  With this objective in mind, we are proud to present the Fourth Edition of our book – Water and Wastewater Finance and Pricing: The Changing Landscape.

The book is a comprehensive guide to financial management and pricing practices, and delves into a number of factors that have impacted how utilities finance their capital programs, how they structure rates to recover revenue requirements, and how they embrace strong financial management systems and approaches to be responsible stewards over public funds. Among numerous management challenges, the book addresses such issues such as reduced per capita usage and customer demand, a weak economy, social media, balancing community environmental sustainability with financial sufficiency, an increased focus on water demand management and efficiency, and the concern over rate affordability.

Though the first three editions addressed numerous financial, pricing, and management issues, the Fourth Edition expands the areas covered, including:

  • Discussing cutting-edge management approaches and initiatives, and the importance of strong financial management in addressing strategic financial and pricing goals
  • Expanding the discussion on traditional financing options, factoring in the current economic climate
  • Discussing in detail how to integrate risk considerations into the development of effective financial and rate plans
  • Techniques for projecting demand by retail, wholesale, and other customer classes
  • Providing methodologies for the development of water reuse, wholesale, and wheeling rates
  • Utilizing computer models that include scenario builders, rate dashboards, and graphical presentations of key rate and financing concepts
  • Discussing effective public education approaches to gain stakeholder support of a utility’s financial and rate plan
  • Introducing “triple bottom line” concepts into selecting an appropriate financial and rate plan
  • Expanding the concepts of water and wastewater financial planning into the stormwater discipline

Water and Wastewater Finance and Pricing: The Changing Landscape, Fourth Edition is geared toward professionals assigned to develop water and wastewater financial plans and rates, senior managers with the responsibility for the long-term financial sustainability of the utility, investors evaluating the financial strength of utilities, engineers/consultants planning water and wastewater facilities, academics teaching financial and pricing principles as a part of public policy curriculum, regulators needing to understand the financial viability of utilities under their purview, and policy makers desiring to support effective financial and rate plans for their constituencies.

Our intent in the Fourth Edition is not to be a competitor of the American Water Works Association’s M1 Manual or the Water Environment Federation’s Manual of Practice 27, Financing and Charges for Wastewater Systems. Our intent is to expand, in a complimentary fashion, many of the concepts presented in these manuals, and share additional real-world thinking and examples with the reader. We have been delighted with the way our industry has embraced the first three editions, and hope that the Fourth Edition will be special in its breadth and scope, the depth of the topics covered, and the timeliness of the issues discussed. We are optimistic that the Fourth Edition will be an educational document as well as a tool to help the reader as he or she tackles routine, as well as complex, financial challenges.

With great appreciation, we dedicate this book to the water and wastewater industry and, in particular, to our clients who we have had the opportunity to serve.  We are proud that our clients have focused on protecting the environment, promoting public health, providing high quality service to utility customers, and ensuring the financial health and sustainability of their utilities.


George A. Raftelis, CPA