Factsheet: Communicating and Investing in Natural Capital Using Water Rates
Water utilities depend on natural capital such as watersheds, forests, and river systems as a vital component of their drinking water infrastructure. As the primary source of revenue for water utilities, water rates have traditionally included a single base rate and/or user charges such as consumption charges.
To better communicate the value and magnitude of investments in their natural capital assets to ratepayers and other stakeholders, a growing number of utilities have begun to include natural capital surcharges in their rates structures. Variously called "watershed rates" or "watershed management fees", the following examples show that natural capital surcharges provide utilities with a useful communication and investment tool. This document provides an update to the original factsheet, "Communicating and Investing in Natural Capital Using Water Rates, 2012".
Photo Credit: Tamalpais Lands Collaborative