City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Sanitation, Financial Analysis of City of Los Angeles Long-Term Solid Waste Integrated Resources Plan, Los Angeles, CA. As the lead financial analyst, Dr. Amiri worked closely with the City of Los Angeles financial management division and planning staff to develop a financial plan and implementation strategy for City’s long-term Solid Waste Integrated Resources Plan (SWIRP). Dr. Amiri modeled the current financial context of the Solid Resources Program, estimated the cost of various projects, programs and policies that constitute SWIRP, and studied the fiscal implications of rolling out these programs, project, and policies under different implementation schedules. Specifically, she identified the base financial context of the program, taking into account past capital improvement programs, capital debt schedules, operations and maintenance expenses, and bonds and other revenue sources such as sanitation fees and grants. She conducted life-cycle cost analysis of approximately thirty programs, policies, and projects that were part of SWIRP and studied the cost-effectiveness of each of these to prioritize implementation. She developed a financial model to study the fiscal implications of rolling out SWIRP programs, projects and policies under different implementation schedules and identified possible alternative funding mechanisms that the City could potentially pursue over the following 20 years to implement SWIRP. The financial model and plan allowed City planners and managers to prioritize among various programs and facilities over the following 20 years and identify a proper approach to adjust service fees in the future and to meet City and State diversion goals.
Relevant features: financial modeling and forecasting, life-cycle cost analysis, cash flow analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, multi-criteria decision analysis, sustainability
Estimating the value of water-use efficiency in the Intermountain West, David G. Groves, James Griffin and Sara Haji Amiri, 2008, Santa Monica, CA, RAND Corporation. Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of water-efficiency programs can be difficult, because not all the benefits are easily quantified. This report presents an economic framework based on two tools from the California Urban Water Conservation Council to estimate the avoided costs and environmental benefits of an agency’s efficiency programs. The report evaluates the benefits of Denver Water efficiency programs and uses an exploratory modeling approach to accommodate the significant uncertainty in such estimations. The results of this study suggest that the inclusion of long-run avoided costs and environmental benefits is critical to fully recognizing the value of water-use efficiency programs. The authors find that evaluating only the short-run avoided costs leads to the conclusion that many water-efficiency projects already a part of Denver Water’s 10-year conservation plan are not cost-effective. When long-run avoided costs and environmental and recreational benefits were factored in, all but two Denver Water programs were estimated to be cost-effective. The timing of projected water savings from efficiency programs is also critical. Water savings from programs that concentrate savings during summer months, when water is scarcer, should be valued higher than saving from programs that lead to more uniform water savings throughout the year, because these water savings reduce peak water needs. Read more.
Relevant features: energy, environmental and water policy analysis, policy research, scenario analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis