While providers understand that the they cannot compromise on water quality, they are also strongly motivated to keep water costs reasonable so that consumers and businesses do not experience larger than necessary increases in their water bills.
Each provider approaches water planning on behalf of its own customers, so it is not possible to have a general discussion about how to keep costs reasonable. Some of the methods that influence water prices are:
- Ability to store water (such as the Aquifer Storage Resevoirs recently implemented by the City of Tualatin) so that demand on peak days will be lower
- Different contracts with different suppliers (for example, longer-term contracts might only be available with higher rates and/or limited supply, so a mixture of longer and shorter contracts might work best)
- Multiple sources may lead to increased "bargaining power" and/or hedge against unforeseen events/demand
These are just a few examples of how cost factors into the equation when the providers are planning for the future. The primary focus is on water quality and meeting demand, but in their efforts to meet these goals, providers will keep an eye toward controlling costs for their customers as demand for water increases dramatically in the coming years.