Infrastructure Investment During a Boom/Bust Cycle

by Thomas F. Ellison, Water and Wastewater Utility, United States,
Thomas M. Walski, Water and Wastewater Utility, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Resources Infrastructure: Needs, Economics, and Financing


During a boom period, a utility can find itself in a position where the usual rules of thumb for making investment decisions are no longer trusted. If the utility enters the boom period with a shortage of capacity, the problem is exacerbated. Such was the situation the City of Austin, Texas found itself in during the early 1980s. The Utility's efforts to catch up with growth and the lessons learned are described in this case study paper which addresses different perspectives on the art and science of 'providing water and wastewater service' and the implications of conducting revenue bond elections on a project by project basis.

Subject Headings: Investments | Case studies | Wastewater management | Water resources | Urban areas | Revenues | Bonding | Water shortage | Texas | United States

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