Topic: Water Rates

Overview

Water Rates

Typically, water utilities’ budgets are funded by revenue collected through water and sewer rates. Revenue generated by rates covers the costs of operations, as well as ongoing upgrades and repairs to pipelines, treatment plants, sewers and other water infrastructure.

State legislation also has affected the water rate-setting process by requiring new processes for altering water rates, as well as by requiring water conservation, which in turn decreases the demand for water.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Modesto Irrigation District proposal ignores subsidy

A proposal to change water rates for farmers would have some paying more money and some less, but would not bring more revenue to the Modesto Irrigation District or affect the massive subsidy borne by its electricity customers.

Aquafornia news Best Best & Krieger

Legal Commentary: Local agencies that can recover fees through Prop. 218 process are ineligible for state reimbursements

Several agricultural water suppliers seeking reimbursement for state-mandated activities under the Water Conservation Act of 2009 are ineligible to receive state funding, the Commission on State Mandates has decided. The decision, released in early December, states that the suppliers are ineligible because they have the option to recover costs through the Proposition 218 process.

Aquafornia news Sacramento News & Review

City of Sacramento sends SWAT team after disgruntled water customer

Problems arose in 2013, when [Patrick Lee] O’Kane says he stopped paying his water bill because no one could explain, to his satisfaction, the rate hikes and surplus charges.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

EBMUD puts rate hike on hold

Thanks to December’s downpour, 1.3 million East Bay residents expecting to see a 14 percent hike in their water bill this month are getting a break — for now. The East Bay Municipal Utility District has postponed its emergency plan to pump Sacramento River water to local reservoirs as insurance against a prolonged drought.

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

Announcement: ACWA-sponsored water rate workshops set for January 2015

ACWA is jointly sponsoring two workshops designed for general managers and financial officers titled “Crafting Water Rates for Revenue Stability and Conservation.”

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Water district considering another rate hike

The cost of water in southern Alameda County might rise again soon, as the utility serving the area is considering a rate hike for the 13th consecutive year.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Turlock Irrigation District power rates will rise 2 percent overall

Electricity customers of the Turlock Irrigation District will get a rate increase averaging 2 percent as of Jan. 1, following a 5-0 vote by its board Tuesday morning. … TID also has proposed a far larger increase – more than double – in farm water rates.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

East Bay poised for higher water rates

Despite early December rains, the East Bay Municipal Utility District board voted unanimously Tuesday to augment its Sierra reservoirs with water purchases from the Central Valley Water Project and to pass on the cost to customers, if need be.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento to speed up water meter installations

City of Sacramento officials plan to speed up installing water meters at homes and businesses, aiming to beat a state-mandated 2025 deadline by five years and potentially saving millions of dollars.

Aquafornia news Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Measuring the cost of Claremont’s water take over

As the city [Claremont] begins its effort to acquire a water system from Golden State Water Company one question looms: at what cost? … On Nov. 4, voters overwhelmingly backed a bond measure that allows the city to borrow up to $135 million to acquire the system, which serves more than 11,000 customers.

Aquafornia news

Poor management blamed for Los Angeles DWP customer billing problems

Poor management and an unprepared work force hampered the rollout of a new billing system by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, a new report says, resulting in thousands of incorrect billings and customer telephone hold times of up to two hours.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Turlock Irrigation District considers large water rate hikes

Farmers in the Turlock Irrigation District could see water prices more than double under a proposal going before its board Tuesday morning.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Deal approved to audit Los Angeles DWP nonprofits’ records

After more than a year of bitter legal battles, Los Angeles city leaders have approved a deal with the powerful Department of Water and Power union that promises the first detailed, public look at how two controversial nonprofits affiliated with the utility spent tens of millions of ratepayer dollars.

Aquafornia news Stanford News

News Release: Water sector ripe for innovation and investment, finds Stanford-led report

Investors looking for promising growth markets would do well to consider their water bill. “While the water sector offers many opportunities to innovate and deploy new technologies, in practice the sector has barely tapped the potential those technologies offer,” conclude the authors of a new Stanford-led report, “The Path to Water Innovation,” which recommends spurring innovation by revising pricing policies, regulatory frameworks and financing.

Aquafornia news Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Claremont voters pass [water bond] Measure W

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Measure W passed with a commanding lead of 6,116 votes in favor and 2,452 votes opposed to the initiative which taxpayers hope will reduce water rates. Residents headed to the polls to decide the fate of the highly contentious Measure W, which would allow Claremont to borrow up to $135 million in revenue bonds to finance the acquisition of the local water system owned and operated by Golden State Water Co.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

City officials say fixing Fresno’s water challenges won’t be cheap

A month of water debate has delivered an unsurprising message to Fresno City Hall — given their druthers, people prefer stuff to be free. But the 150 people who gathered at Gaston Middle School in southwest Fresno on Monday for the third of four water forums got an equally unsurprising reply: Water is the stuff of life, and it’s going to cost you.

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Anderson City Council narrowly approves water rate hike

Water base rates in the southern Shasta County town will increase 5 percent on Dec. 1 and another 5 percent the same time next year following the split decision.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Amid California’s drought, a bruising battle for cheap water

The signs appear about 200 miles north of Los Angeles, tacked onto old farm wagons parked along quiet two-lane roads and bustling Interstate 5. “Congress Created Dust Bowl.” “Stop the Politicians’ Water Crisis.” “No Water No Jobs.”

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

The West is bone dry. Here’s how to help

Drought is rampant these days in many parts of the American West, so consider this a pretty sweet gift: You’ve just been given the rights to some water. … Your job is to turn around and use that resource in the most valuable way possible.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Sonoma to consider hiking water rates

In an attempt to reduce water use during California’s severe drought, Sonoma’s City Council will consider raising water rates next month and imposing a new tiered-pricing system that puts the financial squeeze on the city’s heaviest water users.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

The risks of cheap water

This summer, California’s water authority declared that wasting water — hosing a sidewalk, for example — was a crime. Next door, in Nevada, Las Vegas has paid out $200 million over the last decade for homes and businesses to pull out their lawns.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Water for Coachella Valley farms untouched by drought

One of the most extreme droughts in California’s history has been hitting agriculture hard, forcing cutbacks in water deliveries in parts of the Central Valley and leaving more than 400,000 acres of farmland fallow and dry.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

Commentary: What’s the best way to price residential water? Question of the Week

If the severe drought gripping California continues much longer, there’s a good chance that many of the Golden State’s residences will be assigned a daily allocation of water and then charged extra for exceeding that amount.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Daily water allocation could be the next California drought strategy

You probably know your Social Security number, your driver’s license number and perhaps the latest wrinkle in mattress marketing, your sleep number. But do you know your drought number?

Western Water Magazine

Ante Up: Funding California’s Water
May/June 2014

This printed issue of Western Water looks at how water use is paid for and the push to make public financing more flexible.

Western Water Magazine

Are We Keeping Up With Water Infrastructure Needs?
January/February 2012

This printed issue of Western Water examines water infrastructure – its costs and the quest to augment traditional brick-and-mortar facilities with sleeker, “green” features.

Western Water Magazine

Dollars and Sense: How We Pay for Water
September/October 2009

This printed issue of Western Water examines the financing of water infrastructure, both at the local level and from the statewide perspective, and some of the factors that influence how people receive their water, the price they pay for it and how much they might have to pay in the future.

Western Water Magazine

Changing the Status Quo: The 2009 Water Package
January/February 2010

This printed issue of Western Water looks at some of the pieces of the 2009 water legislation, including the Delta Stewardship Council, the new requirements for groundwater monitoring and the proposed water bond.

Western Water Magazine

A ‘New Direction’ for Water Decisions? The California Water Plan
May/June 2010

This printed issue of Western Water examines the changed nature of the California Water Plan, some aspects of the 2009 update (including the recommendation for a water finance plan) and the reaction by certain stakeholders.

Western Water Magazine

Small Water Systems, Big Challenges
May/June 2008

This printed copy of Western Water examines the challenges facing small water systems, including drought preparedness, limited operating expenses and the hurdles of complying with costlier regulations. Much of the article is based on presentations at the November 2007 Small Systems Conference sponsored by the Water Education Foundation and the California Department of Water Resources.

Western Water Magazine

Viewing Water with a Wide Angle Lens: A Roundtable Discussion
January/February 2013

This printed issue of Western Water features a roundtable discussion with Anthony Saracino, a water resources consultant; Martha Davis, executive manager of policy development with the Inland Empire Utilities Agency and senior policy advisor to the Delta Stewardship Council; Stuart Leavenworth, editorial page editor of The Sacramento Bee and Ellen Hanak, co-director of research and senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California.

Video

Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst (60-minute DVD)

Many Californians don’t realize that when they turn on the faucet, the water that flows out could come from a source close to home or one hundreds of miles away. Most people take their water for granted; not thinking about the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state. Where drinking water comes from, how it’s treated, and what people can do to protect its quality are highlighted in this 2007 PBS documentary narrated by actress Wendie Malick. 

Video

Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst (30-minute DVD)

A 30-minute version of the 2007 PBS documentary Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst. This DVD is ideal for showing at community forums and speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex issues surrounding the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state.

Western Water Excerpt Gary PitzerRita Schmidt Sudman

Dollars and Sense: How We Pay For Water
September/October 2009

It’s no secret that providing water in a state with the size and climate of California costs money. The gamut of water-related infrastructure – from reservoirs like Lake Oroville to the pumps and pipes that deliver water to homes, businesses and farms – incurs initial and ongoing expenses. Throw in a new spate of possible mega-projects, such as those designed to rescue the ailing Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and the dollar amount grows exponen­tially to billion-dollar amounts that rival the entire gross national product of a small country.