The 2014 Water and Wastewater Long-range Financial Plan has confirmed Guelph’s narrowing infrastructure replacement funding gap, as well as the absence of any rate-supported capital debt. These indicators confirm that Guelph owns reliable, financially resilient water and wastewater systems that benefit from long-range planning and forecasting of expenses and revenues. The plan will be presented to Council for approval on February 24, 2014.
Water Services is required by the Province to provide or update a long-range financial plan every five years in order to renew its Municipal Drinking Water Licence as part of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
“In addition to satisfying Provincial requirements, the Water and Wastewater Long-range Financial Plan helps the City provide long-term financial stability, system sustainability and community safety as it relates to our water supply,” noted Janet Laird, Executive Director of Planning, Building, Engineering and Environment. “By forecasting future system demands, we can ensure a well-run service and help protect our customers against rate spikes.”
The updated plan forecasts expenses and revenue requirements between 2014 and 2019, taking into account new growth and environmental standards. Forecasted revenue requirements could decrease as new technologies and system efficiencies are developed or identified and implemented.
The Water and Wastewater Long-range Financial Plan will help inform future budgets and rate increases but does not impact the Council-approved budget and rate increase for 2014. All future budgets and rate increases continue to require Council approval.
The Safe Water Drinking Act was introduced in 2002 following the tragedy at Walkerton. The first Water and Wastewater Long-range Financial Plan was completed in 2010.
Although not required by the Province, the City has been proactively including Wastewater Services in the long-range financial planning to provide a more complete picture of the water and wastewater systems and ensure more accurate forecasting.