California utility regulators lead the way with comprehensive affordability assessmentWonderboy was the star of the movie, but Savoy Special won the gameBetween a global pandemic and a presidential election, you might have missed it, but


What happens when governments ask the public to report water waste?Ever feel like you're being watched?Rainfall has been low, the mountain snowpack is thin, and Californians are bracing for another year of scarcity. But


When utility regulation fails, democracy failsPhoto: Texas TribuneThe utility failures in the Lone Star State last week cascaded into a disaster when extreme weather hit an isolated electrical grid.* But more than a natural


No, EPA did not propose affordability guidelines for municipal utilitiesAffordability!Late last week the EPA published in the Federal Register some proposed new guidelines for evaluating sewer utilities’ financial strength. In press releases and public


​Organization of U.S. drinking water utilities in a few simple figuresHere are some graphs that convey ​a few key things about the organization of drinking water utilities in the United States​.*Sources: Energy Information Administration


​Sovereignty isn’t what’s on paper, it’s what flows through taps and riversEnvironmental sovereignty (Photo: nativenewsonline.net)America is slowly awakening to the dire state of tribal water and sewer systems. Access to drinking water and sanitation


How the federal government might end shutoffs & keep water flowing during the COVID-19 crisis Can't do this if your water has been shut off.The COVID-19 crisis has escalated America’s water and sewer affordability


Playing  to win  not to lose in water utility managementNature's Prevent DefenseWarning: strained sports metaphor coming.It’s late January, and the National Football League season soon reaches its climax with the Super Bowl. Both of


Water Sector Reform #5: Environmental JusticePhoto credit: EJCW.orgWith a major federal investment in water infrastructure possibly on the horizon, the United States has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to leverage that money into a structural transformation of


Important developments in California for utility affordabilityYou probably need all threeCalifornia’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is working on establishing methods to measure affordability for utility service. The CPUC governs ratemaking for the state’s investor-owned


​Water Sector Reform #2: ​Regulatory Transparency & FairnessBringing together the best of both states​With a major federal investment in water infrastructure possibly on the horizon, the United States has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to leverage


​Better TogetherWater Sector Reform #1: ConsolidationWith a major federal investment in water infrastructure possibly on the horizon, the United States has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to leverage that money into reforms to transform America’s water


A California surprise: updatePost-drought pornCalifornia has been enjoying a great deal of rain and snow over the past several months—a pleasant rebound in precipitation after the brutal drought that plagued the state from 2011-2017.


drought pornDuring California’s recent drought, the utilities that own their supply sources conserved more than the those that purchase water from wholesale suppliers-Warning: this post contains hardcore wonkery-A while ago I blogged about my ongoing


A California Surprise, Part 2More drought porn (this is used to be Folsom Lake)How private implementation separates public policies from their political costs.Warning: this post contains hardcore wonkery.In 2015 the California State Water Resources


A California surprise, Part IDrought pornSomething unexpected happened when California ordered its utilities to save water: the state’s investor-owned private utilities out-conserved local governments.California’s long-term drought began as early as 2007, but intensified to


Can declaring a human right to water help address affordability?Something extraordinary is unfolding in California.In 2012, to great fanfare, California governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 685, which amended the state’s water