WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) today applauded the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) for adopting a resolution that provides water equity standards to guide regulators, utilities and policymakers to ensure that all customers have access to water that is safe, reliable and affordable.
“The essential nature of water service, particularly during a global pandemic, combined with the reality that many utility customers are struggling in today’s economic climate, highlight the need to focus on water equity,” said Robert F. Powelson, president and CEO of NAWC. “I was pleased to see that the NARUC resolution builds on the guiding principles that NAWC and its member companies established to achieve water equity.”
The resolution was drafted by the NARUC Committee on Water and adopted by the NARUC Board of Directors during its 2022 Winter Policy Summit.
“By outlining these standards for stakeholders – meeting water quality standards, offering customer assistance options, addressing fundamental flaws in our water grid, and investing in infrastructure – we will move closer to guaranteeing that everyone has access to safe, affordable and reliable water.” In the resolution, “…NARUC recommends that economic regulators consider and adopt as many as appropriate of the regulatory mechanisms identified herein as a means to achieving water equity.”
The resolution outlines how to achieve water equity through key areas such as providing water service that meets or exceeds safe drinking water standards; addressing fragmentation within the industry; establishing permanent low-income assistance programs; ensuring cybersecurity measures; instituting long-term maintenance plans; and replacing lead water lines.
“COVID-19 highlighted the importance of safe and reliable water service to public health while the economic consequences from the pandemic underscored the need to maintain affordability of this vital resource,” Powelson said. “The NARUC resolution demonstrates the ongoing commitment to water equity, so customers have every confidence that when they turn on their taps, the water is safe, reliable and affordable.”
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