WEF Book Helps Utilities Develop User-Fee-Funded Stormwater Programs

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Interested in developing charge systems for fee-based stormwater programs? The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) recently released the book, User-Fee-Funded Stormwater Programs, to serve as a resource for agencies and public works departments to establish these programs.

With competition for general fund revenue, increasing compliance and asset management needs, and decreasing revenue from reduced water sales, water resource recovery facilities are experiencing financial strains. User-fee-based stormwater programs can help ease this burden, explained Mike Matichich, a task force chair for the book.

“Given compliance needs for stormwater and stakeholder-driven demands for an increased level of service from stormwater programs, it is increasingly important for communities to have a dedicated funding source for stormwater. This document provides a game plan for how to develop one,” Matichich said. “A user-fee program that is tied to impervious area or some other such factor that represents a property’s contribution to stormwater program needs is a more equitable way to pay for stormwater program requirements than property taxes or wastewater user fees that are based on water usage.”

The book specifies drivers for forming user fees, and explores responsibilities, costs, and implementation processes. It features 11 case studies and addresses how communities can consider whether to implement a user-fee funding source for its stormwater program and the steps to implement programs.

“It includes a chapter on program evaluation to provide a basis for continuous improvement and enhancement of fee programs once they are in place,” Matichich said.

Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights

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