PSC chair: Water utilities need to plan for infrastructure upgrades

The chair of the PSC says state water utilities need to start thinking now about changes they’ll have to make as they prepare to invest more than $12 billion over the next 20 years to upgrade aging infrastructure.

Speaking at a recent water event hosted by the Wisconsin Public Utilities Institute in Madison, PSC Chair Phil Montgomery said the state’s 583 regulated water utilities need to consider options including wholesale arrangements, sharing administrative tasks, pooling resources and public-private partnerships.

“While this can be a controversial topic, I think it is worth considering the role of private business,” Montgomery said. “This doesn’t necessarily mean privatizing our water utilities – but rather looking for creative solutions to address specific needs. … This may be a viable option, particularly for small utilities that lack the technical or financial expertise to comply with increasingly complex financial and public health regulations.”

Read the full prepared text of his comments