Understanding Your Water Rates
Setting Rates & Fees
The District's policy direction ensures that all revenues from user charges generated from District customers must support all District operations including securing water supply, water system operation and distribution, water storage, and water treatment. In addition, capital project funding is needed to cover costs of present and future system rehabilitation, replacement facilities and regulations.
Water rates are user charges imposed on customers for services and are the primary component of the District's revenue. Water rates are composed of a commodity (usage) charge and a fixed meter (readiness-to-serve) charge, and are reviewed on an annual basis as part of the budgeting process.
The commodity charge is the amount charged for water usage. The District has adopted a budget-based tiered rate structure for single-family residential customers and dedicated landscape irrigation customers, which incentivizes efficient water use. Each single-family residential customer is allocated a certain amount of water ("water budget") per billing period priced a lower rates. If the customer exceeds this amount, they are charged higher rates for the additional costs associated with higher use. Customers who wish to increase their water allocation, or "water budget," due to special circumstances may apply for a water budget variance (PDF). All other customers (non-single family residential and non-dedicated irrigation meter customers) are charged a flat commodity charge.
The readiness-to-serve (RTS) charge is a bi-monthly fee based on meter size that covers a portion of the fixed costs of operating the District, including maintenance of the water system and facilities, customer service, and administration.
The District may be required to pass through unforeseen increases in wholesale charges for imported water, groundwater management, and electrical services which exceed, in any fiscal year, the amount of scheduled increase in the District's adopted rates.
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.
Demand Reduction Rates
The District expects a long-term reduction in water use habits as our customers become more efficient. In the future, the District may be required to reduce demands even further, resulting in insufficient revenues to meet projected expenses. In such circumstances, the District may implement demand reduction rates to maintain financial stability and high quality water service. 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.