1) Rate Structure Changes
Your water bill is determined based on what it costs to serve water to your home or business. Due to state requirements, the changing water use trends driven by the recent drought, and our fiscal responsibility, we need to reassess our rate structure.
- We worked with an independent consultant to ensure proper allocation of costs among customers and develop the Final Administrative Record for Rate Structure Analysis (PDF). Our rate structure changes align water rates with the cost of your water service, nothing more.
- These structural changes only affect how rates and charges are allocated among customers; they do not result in additional funds for the District overall.
- With the rate structure changes, some customers’ bills will go down, while others will go up depending on their service.
NOTABLE CHANGES UNDER THE RATE STRUCTURE
The untreated water rates have been standardized to increase ease of understanding and administration.
Annual Service Charge – The annual service charge for agricultural irrigation purposes was previously assessed per acre. The service charge is now to be assessed the same rate per account. The service charge covers the customer service and billing costs.
Usage Charge – The usage charge covers the cost of purchasing source water, delivery, and conservation programs. The usage charge for agricultural irrigation service has historically been lower than other customer classes. In response to customer feedback on our draft plan, the increase in the usage charge is part of a three-year phase-in of rate adjustments to bring the rates to be the same as for all customers. The 2018 usage charge was $124.92 per acre-foot (or $0.38 per thousand gallons). The 2019 standard usage charge for all customer classes is $2.13 per thousand gallons (or $694.02 per acre-foot). The District recognizes that the rate adjustment may have a significant business impact for customers, therefore will make the usage charge adjustments for agricultural irrigation service over three years. The rate adjustment is $1.47 per thousand gallons (or $478.97 per acre-foot).
2) Annual Rate Adjustment
Water rates pay for the transport and delivery of safe, high-quality, and reliable water to all District customers. Based on our annual review conducted with the rate structure evaluation, our Board approved a rate adjustment 2019 Rate Review Public Hearing and Adoption (PDF) to generate a 6% revenue increase for 2019 to maintain your water service.
These adjustments are necessary to:
- Meet the increasing costs of operating and maintaining the system as well as treating and delivering water
- Continue repairing and replacing aging pipes and other facilities
- Account for new state mandates
- Fund employee salaries and benefits
- Rebuild financial reserves for the next drought
Putting It All Together: 2018 Rates Compared to 2019 Rates
Under the previous rates, an untreated water agricultural irrigation customer who used 890 gallons of water per day (325,000 gallons or approximately 1 acre-foot per year) paid about $20.81 per month for their water service. With both the rate structure changes and annual revenue increase, the per month cost would change to $48.08. This would result in an increase of $27.27 per monthly billing cycle for the next year.