Budgeting and Financial Management

Budgeting and Financial Management

Basics of Financial Management Guidebook
RCAP’s guidebook for small communities on financial policies and controls, budgeting, and monitoring of financial performance.
The Basics of Financial Management for Small-community Utilities: A Webcast on Financial Management (Part 1)
A recorded webcast that is a companion to RCAP’s The Basics of Financial Management for Small-community Utilities
The Basics of Financial Management for Small-community Utilities: A Webcast on Financial Management (Part 2)
A recorded webcast that is a companion to RCAP’s The Basics of Financial Management for Small-community Utilities
Budget How-Tos
This document includes tips on creating a budget for a water board.
Budget Worksheet for Water Systems
A worksheet in Microsoft Excel format that provides a general overview of the annual budget. Calculations are performed automatically within the Excel program.
RCAC: Financial Planning: A Guide for Water and Wastewater Systems
These guidebooks address core issues regarding water system sustainability: auditing water use to reduce water losses and increase system efficiency, financial planning and management to ensure sufficient revenues to sustain operations, and asset management to allow the system to provide a sustained level of service at the lowest life cycle cost.
EPA: Water Utility COVID-19 Financial Impact Tool
A tool that can help drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities assess the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the utility’s cashflow.

UNC Environmental Finance Center: Tools To Assist Water Utilities With Financial Decision Making
The EFC at UNC has created several free tools to assist water utilities in addressing the challenges commonly seen in communities.

March 30, 2021
Rate Setting & Affordability

Rate Setting & Affordability

Formulate Great Rates Guidebook
RCAP’s step-by-step guide on setting rates for your water system that cover expenses, are fair and equitable and are easy to administer.
Formulate Great Rates: A Webcast on Setting Rates in Small-Community Utilities (Part 1)
A recorded webcast that is a companion to RCAP’s Formulate Great Rates: The Guide to Conducting a Rate Study for a Water System.
Formulate Great Rates: A Webcast on Setting Rates in Small-Community Utilities (Part 2)
A recorded webcast that is a companion to RCAP’s Formulate Great Rates: The Guide to Conducting a Rate Study for a Water System.
Rate Guide Supplemental Materials (Excel)
Excel workbook supplement to the Formulate Great Rates guidebook.
RCAP Blog: Three Things to Do Before a Rate Change
A blog post outlining three steps to take before a rate change.
UNC Environmental Finance Center: Tools To Assist Water Utilities With Financial Decision Making
The EFC at UNC has created several free tools to assist water utilities in addressing the challenges commonly seen in communities.

UNC Environmental Finance Center: Finance Dashboards
Rates Dashboards are designed to assist utility managers and local officials to compare and analyze water and wastewater rates against multiple characteristics, including utility finances, system characteristics, customer base socioeconomic conditions, geography, and history.

EPA: Compendium of Drinking Water and Wastewater Customer Assistance Programs
A document describing the benefits, implementation, and examples of customer assistance programs (CAPs) throughout the country.

UNC Environmental Finance Center: Navigating Legal Pathways To Rate-Funded Customer Assistance Programs
This project focuses on the legality of how customer assistance programs can be financed by the utility.

RCAP Educational Program Materials

Webinar: Understanding and Improving Your Water System’s Bill Collection Rate
This webinar explored calculations to measure the bill collection rate, how that rate is tied to the rate setting process, and strategies to improve the rate.

March 30, 2021
Water Loss Control

Water Loss Control

AWWA: Water Loss Control
The latest version of AWWA’s industry-standard free water audit software.
Southwest Environmental Finance Center:  Water Loss Switchboard
A repository of documentation and tools related to measuring and addressing non-revenue water.
Southwest Environmental Finance Center: The Water Audit Handbook for Small Drinking Water Systems
Guide to help small water systems prepare a water audit using the AWWA/IWA Water Audit Method.
EPA: Water Audits and Water Loss Control for Public Water Systems
Documents introducing water loss control and information on the use of water audits in identifying and controlling water losses in public water systems.
Alliance for Water Efficiency: Utility Water Loss Control
Tools and resources on the water audit and data validity including an interactive map of state-level water loss laws in the United States.
Texas Water Development Board: Water Loss Audit Resources
Guidance documents and calculators to help complete a water audit. These items are generally applicable to utilities across the country.
Southwest Environmental Finance Center: Break Rate Analysis Tool
Interactive web tool that compares annual main breaks from your system to the US/Canadian average break rates for 7 pipe materials.
Missouri Rural Water Association: Water Loss Tracking Tools
Interactive web tools to calculate the volume of water lost from different types of breaks, well drawdowns, hydrant and pipe flushes, and other activities.

March 11, 2021
Veterans Working in Water

Veterans Working in Water

EPA: Water Workforce Veteran Promotion
Tips for water and wastewater utilities considering hiring veterans and promote interagency activities to improve career opportunities for disabled Veterans in the water sector.
EPA: Guide for Applying Military Occupational Specialties (M.O.S.) to Civilian Drinking Water and Wastewater Operations
Guide highlighting relevant MOSs and tips for water and wastewater utilities considering hiring veterans.
AWWA: Veterans Workforce Resources
The Veterans Workforce Initiative has developed toolkits for employers looking to hire Veterans and flyers for Veterans interested in the water sector.
U.S. Department of Labor: Veterans’ Employment and Training Service
The Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) is committed to helping America’s veterans and separating service members by preparing them for meaningful careers, providing employment resources and expertise, and protecting their employment rights.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Veterans Employment Toolkit
In this toolkit, you can learn about Veterans and the military, such as what Veterans bring to the workplace and what the military structure and culture is like.
Work for Water: Veterans Focus
This site provides resources for veterans to find careers in the water industry.
U.S. Department of Labor: Veterans.gov
This webpage provides resources for veterans and military spouses.
Career One Stop: American Job Centers
American Job Centers (AJCs) provide free help to job seekers for a variety of career and employment-related needs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation: Hiring our Heroes
Hiring Our Heroes is a nationwide initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment opportunities.
This site provides resources for employers looking to recruit veterans.
Disabled American Veterans: National Employment Program
DAV will sponsor job fairs including virtual events, to connect veterans with employers nationwide who are committed to hiring them.
RallyPoint: Business Services
Social media site for employers to engage the military community.
Career One Stop: Civilian-to-Military Occupation Translator
Identify relevant military experience by matching your civilian job opening to military careers that use similar skills.
O*Net OnLine: Military Occupational Classification Crosswalk Search
Allows for users to find civilian-equivalent occupations for military codes and titles.
USAA: Veteran Employment Roadmap
This site has created and compiled the best resources for hiring veterans and organized them in three categories: prepare, recruit, empower.

RCAP Educational Program Materials

Webinar: Continuing to Serve: How to Recruit Retiring Military Personnel into the Water Sector
This webinar explored how skills learned in the military can be an ideal fit for drinking water systems, while utility work can be an ideal fit for veterans transitioning back to civilian life. The webinar also described the process of how retiring military personnel find new jobs and offered practical advice for water systems to get their job postings in the hands of veterans.

March 11, 2021
Water Finance and Management Libraries, Blogs & Podcasts

Water Finance and Management Libraries, Blogs & Podcasts

RCAP’s A Drop of Knowledge
RCAP’s monthly online newsletter with information for small, rural and tribal drinking water and wastewater systems
WaterOperator.org: Resource Library
Portal for information from across the water industry that saves time, answers questions, and provides opportunities for ongoing learning at your own pace.
Edmunds GovTech: Utility Information Pipeline
Blog on water and wastewater financial management and billing.
IB Environmental: Ripple Effects – An Environmental Blog
This blog aims to increase the appreciation for water resources and promote sound environmental policy through research, education, and action.
Manny Teodoro: Blog
This blog discusses water policy, management, and finance.

Southwest Environmental Finance Center: Blog
Blog on drinking water and wastewater technical, managerial, and financial capacity.
UNC Environmental Finance Center: The Environmental Finance Blog
Blog to support communities interested in sustainable and innovative financing mechanisms for delivering environmental services such as drinking water and wastewater.
Water in Real Life Podcast
Podcast from the H2duO of Rogue Water Lab focused on communicating about water through story.
Words on Water Podcast
A podcast featuring conversations with influential and interesting people from the water sector and news from the Water Environment Federation.
Waterloop Podcast
Podcasts on conversations about water solutions.
The Water Values Podcast
This podcast series explores water issues from a variety of perspectives with the goal of uncovering the true value of water.
Water We Talking About? Podcast
A podcast for water and wastewater technology vendors and service providers.

November 5, 2020
Energy Management and Conservation Resources

Energy Management and Conservation Resources

Sustainable Infrastructure for Small System Public Services: A Planning and Resource Guide
This planning and resources guide includes a step-by-step process for utility decision makers, staff and community members wanting to operate increasingly efficient utilities.
Five Things You can do to Save on Energy in your Utility
This document aims to help understand your facilities and your energy usage, you can make good decisions and implement positive changes for your community.
Energy Efficiency at Wastewater Treatment Facilities
This video presents to those in small, rural communities who are responsible for managing and overseeing wastewater treatment systems – boards or other governing bodies, staff and decision-makers – opportunities for saving on energy costs (many opportunities in the video also apply to drinking water facilities).
National Rural Water Association: Energy Efficiency Program
NRWA’s Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance Program is designed to promote energy efficient practices in small water and wastewater systems, including energy assessments and recommended energy efficient practices and technologies.
NC State University: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency
A database of loan and grant programs available to fund energy efficiency upgrades.

EPA: Energy Use Assessment at Water and Wastewater Systems
Guides for an Excel-based tool that small- to medium-sized systems can use to conduct a utility bill and equipment analysis to assess individual baseline energy use and costs.
Energy Star Portfolio Manager
An online tool to measure and track energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Use it to benchmark the performance of one building or a whole portfolio of buildings, all in a secure online environment.
New Hampshire DES: Guidance for the Energy Efficient Design of Drinking Water System Infrastructure
The document is intended to be used as guidance to improve the energy efficient design of water system pumping stations, infrastructure and water treatment facility upgrades.
UNC Environmental Finance Center: Electricity Baseline Builder for Water Utilities
This tool allows you to see how much electricity your water system is currently using and track how much you save, or have already saved, with new energy efficiency projects.

November 5, 2020
Mapping Resources

Mapping Resources

ESRI: Mapping Small and Rural Water Systemshttps://www.esri.com/en-us/landing-page/industry/water/2019/mapping-rural-and-small-water-systems
EPA: Drinking Water Mapping Application to Protect Source Waters (DWMAPS) Data Layershttps://www.epa.gov/sourcewaterprotection/drinking-water-mapping-application-protect-source-waters-dwmaps-data-layers

November 5, 2020
Security, Resiliency & Emergency Response Planning Resources

Security, Resiliency & Emergency Response Planning Resources

RCAP & AWWA’s Small Systems Risk and Resilience Assessment Worksheet
The information in the worksheet addresses the basic elements of a risk and resilience assessment for small systems to comply with America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.
RCAP & AWWA’s Small Systems Field Assessment Checklist
Field Assessment Checklist for Small System Critical Assets.
RCAP & AWWA’s AWIA Small Systems Certificate Program
Free online training for small systems to create or update risk and resiliency assessments and emergency response plans which meet the requirements of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.
RCAP Emergency Response Planning Guide for Public Drinking Water Systems
A document to help create an emergency response plan for a water system serving 3,300 population or fewer.
RCAP Emergency Response Planning Template for Public Drinking Water Systems
A planning template to design an emergency response plan.
Preparing Your Wastewater System for Disasters and Emergencies
This video for boards and staff identifies some ways that systems should prepare themselves for disasters and emergencies, whether they originate inside or outside the system.
Security & Emergency Response Planning Toolbox
Emergency Response Planning Template for Public Drinking Water Systems.
10 Ways to Prepare for a Drought-Related Water Shortage
This website highlights 10 tips to prepare for a drought-related water shortage.
CEO Nathan Ohle on RCAP’s Disaster Work
This video features RCAP CEO Nathan Ohle on RCAP’s disaster work.
GLCAP: Planning for Pandemics Toolkit
Free downloads of pandemic tools and resources.
EPA: Drinking Water and Wastewater Resilience
This site includes resources on drinking water and wastewater resilience.
VSAT is a free tool for assessing risk and resilience at drinking water and wastewater systems. It can be used to estimate risks from malevolent threats and natural hazards and to evaluate improvements for increased security and resilience.
EPA: Incident Action Checklists
14 checklists for water utilities to help with emergency preparedness, response, and recovery actions for a range of natural disasters and malevolent acts.
EPA: Small System Risk and Resilience Assessment Checklist
This guidance will help small CWSs meet the requirements for risk and resilience assessments in AWIA.
EPA: Develop or Update a Drinking Water Utility Emergency Response Plan
This template and instructions will assist water utilities with developing an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) in accordance with America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (AWIA) Section 2013(b).
National Rural Water Association: Disaster Response
This training has focused on all aspects of emergency preparedness, from planning and management, to loading and unloading heavy equipment, to connecting emergency generators.
AWWA: Resources on Cybersecurity
These resources provide the water sector with a voluntary, sector-specific approach for implementing applicable cybersecurity controls and recommendation.

Water ISAC: 15 Cybersecurity Fundamentals for Water and Wastewater Utilities
This completely updated guide contains dozens of best practices, grouped into 15 main categories, that water and wastewater systems can implement to reduce security risks to their IT and OT systems.

November 5, 2020
Obtaining Infrastructure Funding Resources

Obtaining Infrastructure Funding Resources

USDA Rural Utilities Service Borrower’s Guide: A How-to for Water and Wastewater Loans from USDA Rural Development
A how-to for small communities on applying for water and wastewater loans from USDA Rural Development.
Getting Your Project to Flow Smoothly: A Guide to Developing Water and Wastewater Infrastructure
A comprehensive guide on all the steps the governing body of a utility should go through in planning, designing and constructing infrastructure. A very detailed how-to on all phases of the process. Includes many pitfalls to avoid.
How does the Federal Budget Impact Rural Utilities?
The process of creating the federal budget every year is complex and sometimes confusing, but it should inform your decision-making as you devise strategies to finance your project.
RCAC: Sustainable Infrastructure for Small System Public Services: A Planning and Resource Guide
This planning and resource guide will assist a community identify very specific actions that can be taken to choose their next steps as they foster and promote sustainability.

EPA: Water Finance Clearinghouse
An easily navigable web‐based portal to help communities locate information and resources that will assist them in making informed decisions for their drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure needs.

EPA: Effective Financing for Water Infrastructure
Highlights sources of federal funding for water infrastructure.

Environmental Finance Center Network: Funding Sources by State and Territory
This interactive map explains funding sources by state and territory.

Southwest Environmental Finance Center: State Revolving Fund Switchboard
This map is a repository of documentation and tools related to State Revolving Funds.

USDA: Water & Waste Disposal Loan & Grant Program
An overview and information on the Water & Waste Disposal loan and grant program.
EPA: How the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Works
This document explains how the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund works.
HUD: Community Development Block Grant
Provides annual grants on a formula basis to states, cities, and counties to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons.
Environmental Financial Advisory Board: A Decision-Maker’s Guide to Alternative Service Delivery Options for Public Utility Projects
The report provides a step-by-step process to help officials consider and determine an optimal approach to their infrastructure challenges given their individual circumstances.
CoBank: Drinking Water Financing
A private lender providing financing to water cooperatives, water companies and not-for-profit and municipal systems throughout rural America.
Live Oak Bank: Water and Wastewater Funding
A private lender providing up to 40-year fixed-rate financing for water, waste and stormwater for rural and unincorporated communities.
Communities Unlimited: Water and Wastewater Loans
Provides information and access to water and wastewater loans.

RCAC: Environmental Infrastructure Loans
Loan program providing the early funds small rural communities need to determine water and waste facility project feasibility and to pay pre-development costs prior to receiving state and federal funding.
GLCAP: Community Loan Fund
The GLCAP Community Loan Fund provides loans for facility improvements such as the development and rehabilitation of water, wastewater and storm water infrastructure, parks, buildings, and other needs projects that stimulate and sustain community development and increase access to capital for low-income areas.

November 5, 2020