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Western Water Issues: The Challenges of Growth. NARUC Water Committee Summer Meetings July 2008, Portland, Oregon Walton Hill, United Water. 139 years in the US water market Key Highlights 1869-Founded as Hackensack Water Company 1890-Listed on the New York Stock Exchange

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western water issues the challenges of growth

Western Water Issues: The Challenges of Growth

NARUC Water Committee Summer Meetings

July 2008, Portland, Oregon

Walton Hill, United Water

united water at a glance
139 years in the US water market

Key Highlights

1869-Founded as Hackensack Water Company

1890-Listed on the New York Stock Exchange

1930-First use of charcoal filtration

1989-Nation’s largest ozone filtration plant

1994-Merger with GWC

2000-Acquisition by Suez

2002-Acquisition of US Water

2007-Acquisition of Aquarion Water Company of New York

Number two player with 8% share of private market

Active in 20 states, 6.5 M population served

Revenue $600M, total assets $2B

2,000 employees

Two Business Segments: Regulated and Contract Services

21 regulated utilities, 138 O&M contracts

Regulated business is highly capital intensive with low risk profile

Contract Services business is not capital intensive, but has higher risk profile

United Water at a Glance

United Water’s strategy is to develop a well-balanced portfolio of regulated and contract service operations that can generate value in line with its risk profile

overview
Overview
  • A little Idaho history
  • Existing conditions
  • Future expectations
  • Solutions / Strategies for success
slide5

Parma

BoiseRiver

Star

Middleton

Boise

Caldwell

Nampa

Lake Lowell

New York Canal

Kuna

Snake River

boise basin water supply history

Anderson Ranch

Built 1950

439,200 AF

Arrowrock

Built 1915

286,600 AF

Lucky Peak

Built 1957

293,100 AF

Boise River

New York Canal

Lake Lowell

Built 1908

173,000 AF

Boise Basin Water Supply History

Boise River

boise basin water supply history7
Boise Basin Water Supply History
  • “Develop the West”—starting 1908
  • USBOR Reservoirs partially funded by selling bonds to new Irrigation Districts
  • 40 year notes now paid off; ID’s have 40 year contracts with BOR for surface water rights
  • Water suppliers contract (5 yr lease) with ID’s for supply, or “short term rental pool” or “water bank” for unused rights (annual lease)
  • Cornfields or lawns—development affecting the uses of water rights
united water idaho
United Water Idaho
  • 250,000 population in City of Boise and surrounding areas; 83,000 customers
  • 16 Billion gallons delivered annually
  • 20 MGD winter; 90 MGD summer
  • 11” rainfall per year vs. >40” Mid-Atlantic Region
  • 50% increase in population 1988 to 2006
united water idaho cont d
United Water Idaho (cont’d.)
  • Conservation programs commencing mid-1980’s
    • Public information, school education, xeriscaping program, water audit program, summer/winter rates, dual systems
  • 6 - 10 MGD Surface Water Treatment Plant Construction (second in 15 years)
  • 90 wells; aquifers reaching their limit
  • Uses of surface water rights changing
dual systems 1995
Dual Systems—1995
  • UW Idaho’s average residential bill = $350/yr.
  • 70% ($250) is for summer consumption
    • Seasonal rates
  • New developments pay $50/yr. for irrigation from dual system
    • Total bill now about $200
    • $150 to UW, $50 for I.D.
  • Customers have nice lawns; UW Idaho’s summer peak (and revenue) are shaved
    • Peaking plants postponed, but lower revenue stream creates more need for rate cases
meeting the challenge
Meeting the Challenge

Natural Surface Flow

Ground Water

Conservation

Short Term Rental Pool

Contract Storage

strategies for success
Strategies for Success
  • Purchase land - obtain water rights
    • convert back to habitat
    • basin exchanges of the water
  • Butte water rights win-win
  • “used and useful”?
  • “intergenerational equity”?
  • Regulatory support for securing current and future water supply
strategies for success13
Strategies for Success
  • Delivery from canals (become their customers) through five year contracts
  • Provides revenue and incentive for efficiency for IDs to improve their systems
strategies for success united water idaho conservation program
Strategies for Success-United Water Idaho Conservation Program
  • Program approved by PUC
  • Seasonal rates
  • Outreach and education: TV, radio, newspaper, community and municipal organizations
  • Comprehensive approach: “conservation kits”, irrigation improvements, xeriscape classes, indoor conservation tips, rain gutter devices, low flow nozzles
  • Costs deferred; regulatory issue of declining revenue—”decoupling”