The Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority (TMUA), like many water and wastewater utilities across the country, is facing many challenges, including rising costs, aging infrastructure, increasingly stringent regulatory requirements, and a changing workforce. TMUA's overall vision and priority is to ensure the long-term sustainability of Tulsa's water and wastewater systems by providing safe, reliable, and high quality water and wastewater services that are cost-effective, resource efficient, and support other relevant community goals.
In July 2011 TMUA engaged a team, led by the financial firm of Infrastructure Management Group, Inc. (IMG) and comprised of engineering and legal firms, to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the City's water and wastewater systems. The assessment was in response to the preliminary findings from an audit of City services contracted by the City's administration. One strategy identified to address funding shortages and efficiencies of the City is to consider public/private partnerships for the City's water and wastewater systems.
Rather than focusing on just financial, operational, or capital, TMUA chose to take a holistic approach considering all significant aspects of the utility systems including governance and organizational structure, management, operational performance, capital needs, financial condition, and legal and public policy issues. The study was completed in August 2012. Overall, the IMG Team finds that the Tulsa metropolitan region enjoys water and sewer services that operate within industry norms for service quality and cost-efficiency. However, without significant changes, increasingly stringent regulations and the system's aging infrastructure will combine to force water and sewer rates to grow significantly for decades to come. Copies of the condensed Special Briefing document and the Executive Summary report can be obtained by clicking on the links below.