MWRA’s Current Expense Budget (PDF) for FY2020 is $792.2 million, representing an average combined water and sewer rate increase of 3.1%. This represents a significant decrease from the 3.74% proposed in February 2019. This translates into an average household increase of about $16.00.
The biggest driver of MWRA's budget is debt service (the share of its budget that is devoted to principal and interest payments) on the bonds that financed major capital improvement projects. For FY 2020, debt service represents 62.2% of MWRA’s total budget.
Most of the projects funded through debt service were mandated by the federal court or state regulators, such as the successful Boston Harbor Clean-up, completion of the Combined Sewer Overflow Control Plan and modernization of the drinking water system.
For the last several years, MWRA has had a multi-year rates management strategy in order to keep rate increases predictable and affordable, so that its member communities can better plan for future years.
The MWRA Board also approved the Capital Improvement Program (PDF) for FY 2020 which projects $199.5 million in spending, of which $122.5 million supports Wastewater System Improvements, $64.2 million supports Waterworks System Improvements, and $12.8 million is for Business and Operations Support. Some of the larger projects with spending in FY20 include Deer Island Asset Protection and Long-Term Water System Redundancy.