Water Consulting

Complexity is the one word used most often to describe water system management today. Issues around aging infrastructure, affordability, climate change, and stakeholder engagement continue to challenge water utilities’ limited resources.


The water consulting specialists at Harris & Associates help agencies develop robust, practical plans to overcome these obstacles and responsibly meet their goals. We offer guidance for near-term results while moving toward the water utility paradigm of the future—one built largely on public and stakeholder trust, along with collaboration of adjoining entities with common interests.

Integrated Planning and Implementation

Water and wastewater agencies and city departments are facing an unprecedented wave of replacing in-service infrastructure. Meanwhile, they have to make these improvements amid new regulations, climate change impacts that decrease demand (and potential revenue streams), a shrinking skilled workforce, and increasing demand for public engagement. Yes, we have technological advances that offer the promise of new efficiencies, but these can also bring their own cultural and organizational challenges.

To account for so many moving parts—and such high stakes—the Harris team develops strategic and master plans for water utilities to help them focus on where they are and where they want to be. We build these plans on a deep understanding of water utility operations that form the basis of robust asset management plans.

Finally, with a clear vision and an accurate understanding of your assets, we prepare a realistic financial plan, which projects operations expenditures and capital investments, along with future required rate adjustments. Using a participatory framework to gain stakeholder approval of the rate recommendation, we deliver a comprehensive approach that enables your water utility’s success now and for decades to come.

Alignment with Harris Values

Increasing access to and affordability of water service builds equitable, resilient, and sustainable communities—it’s the reason why Harris exists. By serving as your trusted advisor, we bring our vision to life.

Related People

Tom West, PE

Tom West, PE

Vice President / Water Consulting


Brian Spindor, CMRP, PE

Brian Spindor, CMRP, PE

Senior Consultant / Water Consulting


Zaheer Shaikh, PE, PMP

Zaheer Shaikh, PE, PMP

Director / Engineering


Ann Hajnosz, PE

Ann Hajnosz, PE

Senior Director / Water Consulting


Christy Cooper

Christy Cooper

Senior Consultant / Water Consulting


Julia Chambers, ENV, SP

Julia Chambers, ENV, SP

Planner / Municipal + District Finance


Karyn Johnson

Karyn Johnson

Senior Consultant / Water Consulting


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Envision® Sustainable Infrastructure Rating System

Envision Charter Member

Harris & Associates is a proud charter member of the Envision® sustainable infrastructure rating system. This system provides a holistic framework for evaluating and rating the community, environmental, and economic benefits of all types and sizes of infrastructure projects.

  • Water Planning

    Water Planning

    Harris supports water and sewer master planning with comprehensive demand projections, regulatory assessments, hydraulic modeling, operations review, capital improvement plan development, financial planning, rate analyses, and more. Particularly for small to mid-sized agencies, we help our clients see where they are and choose the best paths forward under their unique circumstances.

  • Water Planning

    Harris supports water and sewer master planning with comprehensive demand projections, regulatory assessments, hydraulic modeling, operations review, capital improvement plan development, financial planning, rate analyses, and more. Particularly for small to mid-sized agencies, we help our clients see where they are and choose the best paths forward under their unique circumstances.

  • Water Finance

    Water Finance

    Funding will continue to pose a challenge for water utilities as water rates rise and affordability concerns grow. Harris offers a comprehensive approach to financial planning and rate-making that includes significant stakeholder involvement throughout the process.

     

    What differentiates Harris? Our proven ability to integrate business and financial acumen with engineering expertise to drive success for our clients and their stakeholders. For rate studies, this means we have a more in-depth understanding of fiscal policy development and corresponding rate impacts, as well as key utility operating, engineering, and capital assumptions. We can better validate these assumptions, which are the foundation for building long-term financial projections. We also perform in-depth economic analyses and help utilities obtain grant and loan funding through various funding mechanisms.

  • One Water

    One Water

    The term “One Water” originally grew out of integrated water resource planning. At Harris, we look at One Water as a framework and a philosophy for tackling water-related challenges where traditional structures and assumptions cannot get the job done.

     

    We provide rare end-to-end expertise to help agencies and districts with goals related to:

     

    • Rehabilitating aging infrastructure in underserved communities
    • Applying new principles of decentralized wastewater treatment and recycling
    • Coordinating strategic partnerships and multi-party funding programs to deliver regional solutions
    • Multi‐benefit project planning and design

  • Water Management Consulting

    Water Management Consulting

    Pressures are growing for water agency leaders tasked with navigating a litany of complex issues, including aging infrastructure, retiring staff, water quality, and growing threats from climate change.

     

    We work with these leaders to strengthen decision-making and find viable solutions to current and impending challenges through support focused on:

     

    • Leadership training
    • Knowledge transfer
    • Improving operations
    • Communications and outreach
    • Strategic business planning