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Economic and financial tools

After maximizing your water operations and management and establishing legal tools, you may wish to employ economic and financial tools to help conserve more. Where legal tools directly restrict water usage and force people to conserve water, economic and financial tools incent them to. Some of these tools can even be implemented in a way that helps the municipality conserve financial resources along with water.

Water & wastewater rate review:

AMSC Water and Wastewater Services offer a full cost accounting approach water and wastewater review service that can help your municipality improve the financial viability of your water system. A rate review is comprised of reviewing current and future costs associated with the provision of water and wastewater utility services. The benefits of a review are numerous: they provide a better understanding of the real cost of service delivery that facilitates better decision making, information to better explain costs to rate payers, cost breakdowns for users outside the municipality. The Water and Wastewater Rate Review is performed in partnership with Aquatera Utilities Inc. Pricing of the service is based on the municipality’s data preparedness.

For more information, contact an AMSC staff member

Conservation pricing and rebates:

Economic and financial tools come in two major forms: conservation pricing, and rebates. Conservation pricing involves setting the cost of water in a way that incents users to use less. For instance, some municipalities scale the cost of water to how much the consumer is using: the more they use, the higher their rate is. Conservation pricing can also help the municipality recover more of the costs of providing water, assisting in full cost accounting while still giving consumers the option to save money by using less.

Rebates on the other hand provide a direct incentive to implement more efficient technology. These are especially helpful with technology like water efficient fixtures. The large majority of people who renovate their homes or businesses already install these fixtures, so bylaws requiring them no longer have much of an effect. However, the people who don’t renovate or build new structures may still have old, wasteful structures. Rebates make renovations more attractive to these home and business owners by lowering the cost of installing new fixtures. Rebates can also incent consumers to adopt technologies like rain collection barrels, or use water conserving landscaping elements like mulch ground cover.

See a list of real life examples, best practices, and educational materials on economic and financial tools for water conservation