Detroit Water and Sewerage Department

Detroit, Michigan, United States

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) serves over 200,000 water, wastewater and stormwater customers in the City of Detroit. Until 2016, DWSD also provided wholesale service to the many of the outlying suburban communities in the Detroit metropolitan area. Following the creation of the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA), DWSD became responsible for potable water distribution and wastewater collection within the City, receiving water treatment and transmission and wastewater conveyance and treatment from GLWA. Raftelis was engaged to develop a financial planning model, perform affordability analyses of the Department’s customers, and evaluate alternative water rate structure options. A key aspect of this analysis has involved examining detailed customer information data, as well as census information, to determine the extent to which household income and water use are correlated. This analysis will inform the extent to which inclining block rates for water can play a role in the broader affordability initiatives DWSD is pursuing.