The Value of Great Lakes Water Initiative

Oct 2011 | Data and Monitoring, Library, Water Quantity and Use

The Value of Great Lakes Water Initiative examined the pricing of public water in the Great Lakes region and looked at ways that pricing could be used as a tool to better manage this precious water resource.  Below are the final work products related to the project.

Final Report

The Value of Great Lakes Water Initiative: Final Report (December 2010)

The Value of Great Lakes Water Initiative: Final Report Literature Review

Water Rate Workshop Final Report

In 2010, the Great Lakes Commission received funding from the Great Lakes Protection Fund to lead a team of experts to examine how public water is priced in the Great Lakes region and to assess the feasibility of employing innovative, efficiency-oriented water rates. As part of this project, the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) led a series of three workshops within the Great Lakes Basin to receive input and feedback from utility managers, local politicians, local watershed groups and water users in order to:

  • Better understand the rationale for current water pricing (state/provincial culture and local politics) in the region;
  • Identify state and provincial regulations/policies for utilities rates and other revenue streams; and
  • Identify and examine external economic drivers that influence utility water pricing.

The Value of Great Lakes Water Initiative: Water Rate Workshop Final Report (May 2011)

Water Pricing Primer

This primer was prepared as part of a project of the Value of Great Lakes Water Initiative of the Great Lakes Commission, which was generously supported by a grant from the Great Lakes Protection Fund. The primer was developed to inform and engage decision-makers and stakeholders about the central role of water pricing in water resource stewardship and sustainability. The primer is intended to provide an introductory “why to,” more than a detailed “how to,” treatment of this rich and important subject. In addition to introducing key principles and concepts of ratemaking, the primer highlights findings from the 2010 Great Lakes Water Rate Survey that was conducted as part of this initiative.

The Value of Great Lakes Water Initiative: Water Pricing Primer (December 2010)

Great Lakes Water Rate Survey

A survey was conducted during the fall 2010 by a team of Michigan State University students, under the guidance of Janice Beecher, Director of the Institute of Public Utilities and in consultation with Ed Glatfelter, Director of Conservation Program at the Alliance for Great Lakes. Financial information from the top ten water systems by service population from the eight Great Lakes states have been surveyed in order to identify the socio-economic drivers for setting water rates in the region. See the links above for the survey results and a synthesis report.

The Value of Great Lakes Water Initiative: Great Lakes Water Rate Survey (2010):