In answer to the question of an attendee regarding declining per capita demand patterns and its integration with the asset management plan, Ross Waugh and Heather Himmelberger continue to discuss demand analysis and sustainability.
But that whole declining consumption as well, when you’ve got fixed cost in the front end of the system, you’ve got, fix sunk cost in terms of the assets.
So, if you’ve got a system and then you’re selling less water, that’s going to hammer you in terms of your cost structure and your ability to recover.
You are then going to put your tariff, or your rate up, or whatever you’re going to have to do. None of it is going to be popular.
Now from memory, I think EFC Network has got some tools to help people that haven’t in terms of that rate tradeoff analysis was changed.
Yeah, there is, actually the efcnetwork.org website that we referenced. There are quite a few resources available on the financial side, and the asset management side, where you can look at your rates. There are tools up there, free tools. We also provide free assistance.
So, if you’re out there and you want help looking at your rates in the age of declining years that’s a good thing to do because that is part of asset management, that long-term funding.
And again, you look at the assumption that was made 50 years ago that we’re going to grow at a certain rate, we’re going to have a certain increase in per capita usage and then that turns out not to be what happens 20 years later, now it’s time to take a step back and say, how does that change our funding picture?
How does that change our infrastructure picture? Maybe we had a long-term vision. We’re going to drill a new well every ten years. Maybe we don’t need to do that. Maybe we can take a step back.
Or again thinking of your neighbors, is there a way to perhaps provide water to a neighboring utility and bring them into your facility as a collaboration like maybe there’s a small utility that would really like to get out of the water business.
Could you provide your water to them and maybe collaborate with them, bring them into your system?
So, thinking again, the big picture, like what are all your options? As the declining usage happens, what are your options for how to address that? What can you do?
What are the creative things that you might think about? Or can you sell water to an industry? Could it be used as irrigation for farmers or is there anything else you can do?
And again, presuming you are not living in an area where you really, really have to conserve resources like California, New Mexico, parts of Texas that sort of thing, but in areas where you have a fairly robust resource base.
Taking a step back again, and looking at a bigger picture, what are other options? We kind of get tunnel vision sometimes, and we can only think one way and only think about doing things in a certain way, and taking that tunnel vision off and kind of opening up, what else could we do?
How else could we bring revenue into our system because you have to have a certain amount of money to survive.
Well, that’s the sustainability of revenue and if you get on the wrong side of that and your expenses are higher than what you are able to recover, you’re going to be in trouble pretty quickly.
Also, I was just wondering and since we met, back in the day the young people would go and spend time in the shower and now it’s you know, five-day online gaming feast and two minutes on the shower so I can get back on Snapchat.
And so, I’m wondering Heather, is that a trend here where maybe the two-hour shower of the young person is just a thing of the past. And now it’s like one and a half minutes once a week just to because life is too exciting?
Well, that’d be a really good question. I can only suggest from my experience with my children.
I think the longer showers are still part of their lives. It’s perhaps possible that in other places, people are seeing a reduction…
Ross: That can be a research project for somebody so…
Heather: Good points for a project.