Graham Sustainability Institute

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Use the search feature below to find Water Center supported products, including papers, videos, and fact sheets.

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What Changed with Michigan’s 2018 Lead and Copper Rule?

Prior to the adoption of the new Michigan Lead and Copper Rule in June 2018, Michigan’s requirements were consistent with the federal Lead and Copper Rule. The new Michigan rule includes targeted changes that are detailed here.

March 2019
Graphic

What Changed with Michigan’s 2018 Lead and Copper Rule?

Prior to the adoption of the new Michigan Lead and Copper Rule in June 2018, Michigan’s requirements were consistent with the federal Lead and Copper Rule. The new Michigan rule includes targeted changes that are detailed here.

March 2019
Paper/Project Report

This memo analyzes the viability of complete lead service line (LSL) replacement through increased water fees. Replacement of LSLs solely through increased water rates is possible, but depending on the number of LSLs to be replaced, may require an extended (>20 year) timeline for water systems and/or risks considerable financial pressure on low-income residents and communities. Protecting vulnerable residents from unaffordable rate hikes will likely necessitate an investment of state/outside funds or an extended timeline. 

March 2019
Paper/Project Report

This memo analyzes the viability of complete lead service line (LSL) replacement through a combination of state grants and increased water fees. The City of Eau Claire’s strategy involved three components: 

March 2019
NERRS Science Collaborative Interim Evaluation Report 2018
Paper/Project Report

The National Estuarine Research Reserve System’s Science Collaborative is an important mechanism to support competitive, end user-focused research in the reserve system. The Science Collaborative funds user-driven collaborative research, assessment, and transfer activities that address critical coastal management needs identified by the reserves and has been managed by the University of Michigan (U-M) Water Center since 2015 through a cooperative agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

September 2018
Paper/Project Report

Licensing public buildings and water towers for cell sites is common across the United States. However, the City of Madison (WI) and Madison Water Utility provide an instructive example of how a community can effectively negotiate and renegotiate its license agreements to realize the full value they provide telecommunications companies. This case is also an example of a community generating short-term revenue from private sources to support strategic municipal projects. 

June 2018
Paper/Project Report

In the early 1990s, the City of Philadelphia became the first municipality to appoint a temporary public advocate to represent the interests of “small users,” residential customers and small businesses, during water rate-setting proceedings. It also established the role of a hearing officer whose function was to listen to testimony and provide a recommendation on water price during rate-setting cases. 

June 2018
Paper/Project Report

The Philadelphia Water Department has the task of maintaining an aging water system while providing affordable service in a city where 26 percent of city residents live at, or below, the poverty line. Philadelphia Water had addressed water affordability through an assistance program. Residents below 250 percent of the federal poverty level could apply for the Water Revenue Assistance Program (WRAP), which provides $200 per year for water bills and $300 for past due balances. Despite this program, between April 2012 and January 2018, unpaid bills and water debt affected over 40 percent of Philadelphia households. Twenty percent of all household accounts or 86,000 customers, experienced at least one shutoff, and 40,000 households were eligible for shut offs as of May 2017. For the Philadelphia Water Department, unpaid bills and water debt represent over $242 million in uncollected revenue. 

June 2018
Paper/Project Report

In the early 1990s, the Lansing Board of Water and Light (LBWL) pumped approximately 23 million gallons per day (gpd) for its customers, not quite half of its 50 million gpd capacity. The loss of large industries, a small population decline (7,000 people over 10 years), and more efficient plumbing technology had lowered the community’s water use. Worried about rising rates, LBWL used funding from the Tri-county Regional Planning Commission to convene a task force to explore options for generating new customers by providing water on a regional scale. 

June 2018
Paper/Project Report

In 2012, water softening chemical prices increased, something that hit service providers in the center of Michigan’s lower peninsula particularly hard. These mid-Michigan utilities, clustered around the capital city of Lansing, draw water from the Saginaw Aquifer. Saginaw Aquifer water is particularly hard, and requires a number of chemical inputs to soften it for use and consumption. These rising chemical costs put extra pressure on water utilities as they attempted to distribute safe and high quality water, while keeping rate increases modest. 

June 2018

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