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March 26, 2015

BCWWA: $13 Billion Required in BC for Renewal of Water and Wastewater Infrastructure

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The BC Water and Waste Association recently released a new report "Are our Water Systems at Risk" that assessed the financial capacity of BC’s municipalities to maintain, renew, and replace BC’s existing water and wastewater infrastructure. 

According to the report communities in BC will require at least $13 Billion of additional investment to replace existing water and wastewater systems. 
The results point to 4 concerns about the financial sustainability of BC’s water and wastewater systems:
  1. Water and sewer fees are not covering the full cost of service delivery in many communities; in the worst cases, rates would need to nearly double in order to reach financial sustainability.
  2. Many communities are vulnerable, as they have not set aside sufficient reserves to buffer against unexpected changes in operating costs or revenues.
  3. Smaller communities have greater financial gaps than larger communities, as costs are shared across a small base of users.
  4. $13 Billion of additional investment will be required in BC to renew and replace water and wastewater infrastructure when it comes to the end of its useful life.
The cumulative effect of decisions, policies, and actions over a long period of time have influenced the financial status of BC’s systems. Some of these factors include reliance on government grant funding for capital projects, lack of asset management planning, deferral of maintenance and investment, urban sprawl, and a lack of public support for full cost pricing.


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