Modeling The Financial Health Of Public Water Systems
Jordan, Jeffrey L.
Witt, Harvey J.
Wilson, James R.
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The purpose of this paper is to present a theory and a model for assessing the financial health of public water systems. Using financial information from 25 water utilities in Georgia, the paper seeks to identify the causal relationships between the financial performance of a water utility and its fiscal position. The need for a theoretical understanding of water utility financial health is the result of the increasingly stringent performance requirements under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The issue has become particularly important for small water systems which will be exposed to significant financial demands. A set of fmancial ratios was developed and tested in a model that was based on liquid asset theory. The model contained five variables designed to account for liquid assets, current debt, cash-flow, and level of expenses. The variables fit the need of water utilities to provide an adequate level of operation and maintenance to meet current and future system needs as well as SDWA standards.
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