Water & Wastewater Rates

customer looking at water bill

How do yours compare?

Is your utility’s rate structure meeting your revenue goals and customer expectations? How does your rate structure compare with other utilities in your geographic region? How do your rates compare with similarly sized utilities? What are trends in utility rates? Find answers to these and other rate-related questions in AWWA's comprehensive biennial survey of water and wastewater utility rates.


2016 Water and Wastewater Rate Survey Now Open !

For more than a decade, North America's annual Water and Wastewater Rate Survey has combined the resources and know-how of the American Water Works Association and Raftelis Financial Consultants to inform the water industry of overall rate trends and allow individual utilities to compare their current rates, fees, and charges to others.

The 2016 Water and Wastewater Rates Survey is Now Available; please respond!  Water, wastewater, and combined utilities are encouraged to record their information in the 2016 Survey, which is available for download as a Microsoft Excel file. After data entry completion, the file just needs to be submitted to AWWA/RFC for inclusion in the aggregated results.

Your utility’s response is voluntary but encouraged, and participating utilities receive a free summary of the results.  If your utility has not historically participated, please consider taking part this year. The survey period will remain open until August 15, 2016.

Please follow this link to download your copy of the 2016 Water and Wastewater Rate Survey.

Water and Wastewater Rate BOOKS AND DATABASES

Cover of the 2013 Rate Survey

AWWA and Raftelis Financial Consultants have been producing a biennial survey of water and wastewater charges for US utilities since 2002.  Learn more about and purchase the most recent in the AWWA Store:

Water and Wastewater Rate Summary Figures

The following figures summarize water and wastewater rate changes, annualized rate increases, and typical water and wastewater bills based on data collected through surveys by AWWA and RFC. 

Each biennial water and wastewater rate change shown indicates the average change of the 10 Ccf, 5/8” meter residential customer monthly bill only for respondents who participated in the survey year and the direct previous survey.  For example, if the survey year is 2008, only data for utilities that participated in both the 2006 and 2008 survey were collected and used to derive the average biennial change in residential monthly bill for 2008.

Biennial adjustments for 2006 through 2014 from Chart 5 “Rate Trends in Survey Years” were used to derive the annualized rate increases and change in CPI from 2004 to 2014 shown here.



This figure shows the average monthly residential water and wastewater bills from all responding utilities in each survey year.  These bills are associated with a usage rate of 7,480 gallons/month. General increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) are also presented; starting with the average of the water and wastewater bills in 1988, this level increases based on CPI changes provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2014 Water and Wastewater Rate Survey

Woman with clipboardFor over a decade, the Water and Wastewater Rate Survey has combined AWWA's overall expertise and resources in the water industry with RFC's expertise in rates, charges, and financial matters in both water and wastewater. This effort allows informed utilities to better track overall rate trends and their position in comparison to others.

Download the 2014 survey to see what information was collected: 2014 Water and Wastewater Rate Survey




AWWA M1: Principles of Water Rates, Fees, and Charges

Book cover for M1AWWA Manual M1 provides all relevant information needed to evaluate and select water rate structures, fees, charges and pricing policies.

AWWA M54: Developing Rates for Small Systems

AWWA M54 cover M54 gives step-by-step guidance to determine revenue requirements, analyze rates for different customer classes, develop a financial plan, and design a better rate structure -- even with limited resources and data.



Consider the following freely available tools from these organizations:

Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina

Alliance for Water Efficiency