The Southwest Environmental Finance Center has created a web-based tool to help water and wastewater utilities in Idaho report financial information to the Idaho Department of Environment Quality (IDEQ). It employs an easy-to-use format in which utility managers can enter financial data, including revenues, expenses, and assets and liabilities and see five key financial health indicators. The tool can be used by utilities to understand their current financial health as well as for Idaho IDEQ to collect and store required financial information for all water and wastewater systems in the state.
In addition to entering information directly, utilities can upload documents that are required by the state, such as budgets, audits, planning documents, loan documents and other documents required by most state environment departments in their role as regulators and assistance providers for utilities. The information is stored on the state’s secure servers and can be accessed only by secure login.
The tool includes definitions of most financial components and automatically calculates key financial ratios that are commonly used as indicators of financial health (current ratio, operating ratio, debt service coverage ratio, debt ratio and sales ratio). These ratios are often required by states and loan processors. They help both the state and individual utilities understand the financial condition of the utilities. This tool was created specifically for the state of Idaho, but the Southwest EFC welcomes inquiries from other states interested in employing this technology for water and wastewater financial reporting.
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Written by: Sandra Blanton