El Paso Water Utilities

El Paso, Texas, United States

The El Paso Water Public Service Board (EPW) provides service to more than 700,000 people in a relatively arid area that typically receives only nine inches of rainfall per year. The City’s daytime population “swells” due to the influx of workers. Historically a groundwater-reliant system, the utility has diversified its sources to include surface water and the largest inland desalination plant in the U.S. to treat brackish groundwater. 

Raftelis professionals have been assisting the EPW since 1989 (services prior to 2013 were provided by Raftelis staff while with previous employers).  

Raftelis has completed water and wastewater impact fee studies and updates for the utilities including presentations to an impact fee advisory committee. During the course of the impact fee updates, Raftelis professionals assisted in the definition of the service areas and utility sytem components to be included in the fees, development of growth projections and associated water and sewer demands, and preparation of the fee development and analysis. We worked with a citizens’ advisory committee. The fees were presented to the City Council and subsequently adopted.  Raftelis has also assisted the EPW in developing proposed water, sewer, reclaimed, and stormwater rates. We regularly assist EPW in the evaluation of monthly service charges, volume water sales, and rate adjustments to generate sufficient revenues. As part of this effort, Raftelis updates the EPW financial planning and rate models, modifies user manuals summarizing user input, and updates wholesale customer rates.   

Over the last 25+ years, a focus area for Raftelis professionals has been in assisting EPW in the development and review of alternative water rate structures – moving to, in 1989, and continuing to refine EPW’s conservation-water efficiency rate structure. In 2013, Raftelis professionals completed a phased rate structure evaluation with Phase 1 incorporating a review of current and alternative rate structures as well as a comprehensive analysis of the potential impact to water customers.