Did You Know?

Monte Vista Water District has developed landscaping plans to replace 75% of landscaping at District-owned facilities with water efficient plants.

Your Water District

Montclair Environmental Model Montclair High School students show off their Environmental Model demonstrating impacts of development on water quality

Frequently Asked Questions

Water Rates

  • How much water is in a billing unit?

    How much water is in a billing unit?

    One billing unit is equal to 100 cubic feet of water, or 748 gallons of water.

  • What is the Readiness-to-Serve (RTS) Charge?

    What is the Readiness-to-Serve (RTS) Charge?

    The readiness-to-serve (RTS) charge is a bimonthly fee based on meter size that covers a portion of the fixed costs of operating the District. Such fixed costs include maintenance of the water system and facilities, customer service, administration, and staffing.

  • What is a Pass Through Charge?

    What is a Pass Through Charge?

    A pass through charge covers unforeseen increases in wholesale charges for imported water, groundwater management, and electrical services which may be passed through to the customer as they occur. If the District finds it necessary to pass through unforeseen wholesale charge increases, customers will be informed of these additional charges in advance of the effective date, and each additional charge will be itemized on each bill.

    There are currently no pass through charges being assessed to District customers.

  • What is a Budget-Based Tiered Rate?

    What is a Budget-Based Tiered Rate?

    A budget-based tiered rate prices water based on need and rewards customers who use water efficiently. The water budget estimates each customer's efficient indoor and outdoor water needs, and allocates sufficient lower-priced water to meet those needs. If customers exceed their budget, higher rates are charged for the additional use.

    The District currently offers a budget-based tiered rate structure for single-family residential customers and dedicated irrigation meter customers. All other customers are charged a flat rate.

  • Why does Monte Vista Water District use budget-based tiered rates?

    Why does Monte Vista Water District use budget-based tiered rates?

    The District's budget-based tiered rate structure has assisted the District to incentivize efficient water use while equitably allocating water supply costs and balancing revenue needs. Budget-based tiered rates fairly allocate the cost of water service based on water needs and water supply and operational/maintenance costs. The method recognizes the difference between indoor and outdoor use and rewards customers who use water efficiently with lower water rates. Water budgets represent an appropriate amount of water to meet customers' efficient water use needs. If customers exceed their budget, they are considered to be using water inefficiently and pay a higher rate to cover higher costs associated with discretionary or excessive water use.

  • What is a "water budget"?

    What is a "water budget"?

    A water budget is an amount of water allocated per billing cycle representing efficient water needs. Like financial budgeting, a water budget gives customers a target so they can use water efficiently and pay lower rates.

  • What are water budgets based on?

    What are water budgets based on?

    For single-family residential customers, the total water budget for each two-month billing period is based on your individual indoor (Residential Tier 1) and outdoor (Residential Tier 2) allocations.

    The indoor water allocation for single-family residential customers is calculated to accommodate four (4) people per household, based on U.S. Census and State of California Department of Finance data. Residential customers are allocated 55 gallons of water per person per day at the Residential Tier 1 rate, which is consistent with the State of California standard for efficient indoor water use.

    The outdoor water allocation for single-family residential customers is calculated according to a property's estimated irrigated area, based on County of San Bernardino parcel data (lot size, house footprint) and estimated hardscape (garages/carports, driveway, sidewalks, etc.). Residential customers are allocated 38 gallons per square foot of irrigated area per year at the Residential Tier 2 rate, which is consistent with the State of California standard for efficient outdoor water use on mixed residential landscapes (~80% grass, ~20% other plants). The outdoor water allocation is distributed per billing period based on the seasonal water needs of plants (more in the warmer months, less in the cooler months).

    For dedicated irrigation metered customers (outdoor use only), the water budget for each two-month billing period is based on an outdoor water allocation calculated according to a property's lot size or measured irrigated area. Irrigation customers are allocated 45 gallons per square foot of irrigated area per year at the Irrigation Tier 1 rate, which is consistent with the State of California standard for efficient outdoor water use on large non-residential landscapes (100% grass).

  • Why do I have to pay a higher rate for my outdoor water use?

    Why do I have to pay a higher rate for my outdoor water use?

    Indoor water use is essential for public health and safety, while outdoor water use is necessary for growing aesthetically pleasing plants and landscaping. Additionally, it is more expensive to supply the water needed for outdoor uses due to peaking factors; in other words, we need additional water supply and distribution system capacity to meet the needs of outdoor watering, particularly in the summer months. Therefore, the cost of providing outdoor water is recovered through a higher rate. Outdoor water use can be reduced by increased irrigation efficiency and replacement of water-thirsty grass with more water-efficient plants.

  • What if I need more water than my budget gives me?

    What if I need more water than my budget gives me?

    Customers may apply for a variance to their water budget to adjust the number of people in a household, irrigated area, or for a special circumstance such as a home daycare facility. Click on the below link to download an Application for Water Budget Variance.

  • How can I avoid paying the higher tiers?

    How can I avoid paying the higher tiers?

    Use Less Water: Simple changes to water use habits can lead to significant savings. Visit our website's "Watch the Water" section (link below) for loads of tips on how you can save water.

    Receive a Free Irrigation Upgrade: Monte Vista Water District offers residential irrigation system evaluations and upgrades.

    Get a Free Irrigation Survey: Monte Vista Water District offers free landscape irrigation surveys. Click on the below link for more information.

    Apply for a Variance: Customers may apply for a variance to their Tier 1 or Tier 2 allocation. Monte Vista Water District offers the following variances: Number of People per Household, Child/Adult/Elder Care Facility, Medical Needs, Irrigated Landscape Area, Establishment of New or Rehabilitated, Landscaping, Livestock and Large Animals, Pool Refilling, Leaks, Other.

  • What are Demand Reduction Rates?

    What are Demand Reduction Rates?

    The District expects a long-term reduction in water demands as our customers become more efficient. In the future, the District may be required to reduce demands even further. For instance, in response to the current statewide drought the California State Water Resources Control Board is requiring the District to reduce overall water demand by 24 percent compared to 2013 usage levels. Such a decrease in demand reduces the amount of expected revenues generated by existing water rates.

    The District may implement demand reduction rates to maintain financial stability and high quality water service during future periods of additional planned demand reduction. Demand reduction rates cannot be automatically implemented - they require separate action by the Board of Directors before they take effect. Demand reduction rates do not apply to recycled water customers.

    Demand reduction rates are not being implemented at this time.

  • Why does Monte Vista Water District periodically raise rates?

    Why does Monte Vista Water District periodically raise rates?

    Monte Vista Water District meets approximately 50-75% of its customers' annual water demand with local groundwater supplies. The remaining 25-50% is imported from the State Water Project, originating from northern California. The reliability of this imported supply source has diminished greatly due to severe drought conditions and environmental and regulatory restraints affecting the entire state of California. As a result, the cost of obtaining imported water supply has increased greatly.

    Additionally, prudent utility management requires the District to maintain adequate reserves in order to fund facility replacement needs, as well as to accommodate natural disasters, spikes in energy costs, and reduced revenue due to droughts. Portions of the District's infrastructure are over 50 years old and are undersized for adequate water service and fire protection. Material and energy costs also increase over time, requiring periodic adjustment of rates.

    Finally, water conservation legislation passed by the California Legislature and signed by the Governor in 2009 requires the District to meet specific water use reduction targets by 2020. Severe statewide drought conditions led to the state's first-ever mandatory water use reduction regulations in 2015. As a result, the District expects a long-term change in water use habits due to existing and future state mandates which will impact District revenues. The District's budget-based tiered rate structure has assisted the District to incentivize efficient water use while equitably allocating water supply costs and balancing revenue needs.