Small water systems lack revenue to properly maintain and operate their systems.
Rural Community Assistance Corporation conducts water rate studies to help systems ensure they secure adequate revenue.
The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District serves Pine and Strawberry, rural communities in Arizona. The aging system serves more than 3,000 connections, the majority residential. However, the system is experiencing significant water loss from main breaks of obsolete pipes that are constantly being repaired and is currently under a moratorium for new connections.
The district has secured more than $20M in funding from U.S. Department of Agriculture and Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA) of Arizona, with most of the funding slated for critical infrastructure projects including waterline replacements, tank improvements, well upgrades, new motors and VFD installation.
To ensure that the system has sufficient revenue to meet current and projected needs, including operations, debt payments and reserves, the system asked Rural Community Assistance Corporation to complete a water rate study. The rate study, which is being finalized, will provide the system with multiple options to meet its revenue needs.
With adequate rates in place, the system will have sufficient revenue to move forward with planned infrastructure projects, update its aging equipment and ensure that the community can conserve its valuable water.