Water utility managers must devise water rate structures that meet multiple objectives: economic efficiency, full cost recovery, fairness, and water conservation. Thus, the design of an optimal rate structure requires detailed information on the cost, demand elasticity, and preferences of the customer base within each utility. When full information is not available, some insight may still be gleaned by merely comparing the rate structures across multiple utilities. Benchmarking rate structures across water utilities may reveal insights regarding the characteristics, features and performance of one water utility relative to another. We are reviewing the methods and metrics available to water utility managers to compare rate structures.
We aim to use these metrics to analyze and compare water utilities across the province of British Columbia, Canada.