|UNC center receives funding for water utility study|
|Tuesday, December 20, 2011|
The Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been awarded $250,000 by the Water Research Foundation to study new approaches and models to address current and future financial challenges facing water utilities.
The center will partner with Raftelis Financial Consultants Inc. Twenty-six utilities throughout the United States and Canada will serve as advisers and subjects of the research. The project, which began in November, will run through April 2013.
The economic recession, reductions in water demand, weather variability and other factors all characterize the “new normal” under which water utilities now operate, the research team said. The project will work on defining a resilient business model for utilities, founded on integrated financial and management practices, systems and processes adapted for the new environment.
The center, based in the School of Government, supports local governments by helping them identify ways to leverage their efforts through sustainable financing mechanisms, private investment and other methods. It focuses on a variety of environmental areas including water resources, energy solid waste management, air quality and land conservation.
Raftelis Financial Consultants was established in 1993 to provide financial, pricing and management consulting services to public and private water and wastewater utilities.
The Water Research Foundation sponsors research to help water utilities, public health agencies and other professionals provide safe and affordable drinking water to the public.
Environmental Finance Center contact: Jeff Hughes, (919) 843-4956,