The people of Puerto Rico depend on clean and reliable water – for drinking, for cooking, for life. That is why the people depend on a stable water company that can provide clean and reliable water now and in the future.
The Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) reached important milestones, leading to improved water and wastewater services for residents and businesses alike. Working hand in hand with the Oversight Board, PRASA has focused on overcoming its fiscal challenges and improving its operational performance.
During fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2022, PRASA made notable progress in several areas:
- Rate Adjustments: PRASA implemented modest rate adjustments. The increase of 2.5% for residential customers represent less than a $1 a month – but nonetheless made a difference in PRASA’s budget that will help improve and maintain the water system. The preliminary rate adjustments in PRASA’s Fiscal Plan are expected to generate $370 million in additional revenues from the current fiscal year 2023 to 2027, which will be used to improve Puerto Rico’s water infrastructure.
- Government Collections: Improved collections from government PRASA collected 100% of outstanding bills from government agencies in fiscal year 2022, a significant improvement since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, when government collections dipped below 40%.
- FEMA Funds: PRASA received an additional $37 million during FY2022 in FEMA funds related to the 2017 The federal reimbursement process is expected to ramp up in the coming fiscal year.
With marked progress on the fiscal side, PRASA must turn its attention now to achieving long-term operational stability. The areas that require further attention include:
- Metering Optimization: PRASA launched a two-phased procurement process to improve meters over the next five-years. This project will improve the accuracy of customer billings, reduce water theft, and provide customers with real-time information on their water consumption.
- System Water Losses: PRASA must continue to improve water conservation efforts by continuing pressure management, calibration of water production meters, and a more targeted leak detection program.
- Electricity Expense Reduction: Electricity represents 20% of PRASA’s operating expenditure. PRASA must pursue a more aggressive reduction of its consumption and diversifying its energy resources.
Since PROMESA was enacted in 2016, PRASA has taken major steps to transform its finances and operations. During FY2023, it will be critical for PRASA to continue implementing the fiscal and operational reforms outlined in its Certified Fiscal Plan. Only by doing so will PRASA be able to operate within top-tier water utility standards in the provision of safe, reliable and affordable water and wastewater services for the people of Puerto Rico.
Read more in the Oversight Board’s 2022 Annual Report at https://bit.ly/3Soty9T