November 2017

2017 Water and Retail Rate Survey

It's That Time of the Year Again!

The 2017 Annual Water and Sewer Retail Rate Survey will be available in just a few short weeks! The survey gives communities the opportunity to compare rates, and rate trends, with other Commonwealth communities as well as communities across the country. In 2017, combined water and sewer rates in MWRA communities increased 2.20% on average. This is much lower than the average combined increase of 3.66% in 2016. The 2017 retail rate increase is the smallest average increase the MWRA system has seen since 1994. Surprisingly, the core 21 MWRA water and sewer communities, which make up 81.5% of the system’s flow share, had an even smaller average increase at just 1.0%.

There are lots of enhancements to look forward to in this edition of the survey. All MWRA communities will feature an additional page of data, featuring long-term rate trends over the past two decades. This data complements the rate calculator feature on the Advisory Board website. Together, the rate survey and the rate calculator will give ratepayers an in-depth perspective of real time and historical rate trends. Please note that the rate calculator is still in "beta testing," so not all information or communities' historical data is available yet. 2017 data will not be added until communities have verified their rates with us.

Be on the lookout for the December 2017 Green Sheet which will feature an overview of this year’s rate survey. Also visit the website’s document library to catch up on previous editions of the rate survey.


Missed Opportunity?

Editorial by Joe Favaloro*

As the previous story outlined, retail rates within our 60 communities rose by the lowest percentage since 1994, increasing by 2.2%. And our core (largest user) communities rose by just 1.0%.

On one hand, I’m very pleased that the efforts of the Authority and the Advisory Board (with its renewed push for “Four No More No More”) have aggressively managed and controlled wholesale increases.

At the same time, a part of me laments that our communities, by not raising rates, may have missed an opportunity to better equip themselves with additional resources to further address their many infrastructure needs: aging water and sewer infrastructure, SSOs, climate change preparedness, and let us not forget stormwater regulations (delayed until next July).

Don’t get me wrong; I understand that retail rates within our service area are still some of the highest in the nation. And I know that there are far more priorities for communities to consider than there are resources to address them. However, not raising retail rates in 2017 just feels like a missed opportunity.

As an Advisory Board, we will continue to manage MWRA increases, pushing hard to keep wholesale increases in the 3% range. I hope that next year communities will be able to take advantage of our work as they set retail rates. As always, I welcome and appreciate your thoughts.

*The views expressed in this editorial are solely those of the writer and are not intended to represent an official position of the Advisory Board.


Executive Committee

Coffee and Conversation

A special meeting of the Executive Committee to outline our agenda moving forward will be held on Friday, December 15 from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM in the MWRA Board Room. All members of the Advisory Board are welcome to attend. Please notify Advisory Board staff if there is a topic you would especially like us to add to the topic list. 


You're Invited!

Holiday Brunch

Advisory Board staff is hosting a Holiday Brunch at our offices on Friday, December 15 at 11:00 AM. We would love for you to attend. Please RSVP by email or at (617) 788-2050 so we may provide ample goodies. Hope to see you there.


John Carroll's Retirement Party

A Grand Celebration

We thought you would enjoy viewing some of the pictures from John’s retirement party. A video slideshow is linked below. Over 500 people came to honor John for his incredible career. John officially retires from Norwood on December 15. As mentioned before, John will continue to represent the Advisory Board on the MWRA Board of Directors.


Upcoming Events

For the Month of December

December 6 | 10:00 AM, Water Supply Protection Trust at the John J. Carroll Water Treatment Plant
December 15 | 8:30 AM, Executive Committee Meeting (Coffee and Conversation) in MWRA Board Room
December 15 | 11:00 AM, Advisory Board Holiday Brunch at AB Offices
December 20 | 10:00 AM, MWRA Board of Directors Meeting in MWRA Board Room


Connect With Us!

MWRA Advisory Board | 617-788-2050 |