East Valley Water District (EVWD) took a step toward the implementation of budget based water rates at its regularly scheduled board meeting on January 28.
At the meeting, EVWD’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to call for a public hearing on March 25, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. to consider proposed changes to the District’s water rates, as well as a change in the way customer bills are structured. The hearing will take place at the District headquarters at 31111 Greenspot Road in Highland. All members of the public are welcome.
The recommended rate and structure changes come as the result of an extensive cost of service study performed by independent rate experts from Raftelis Financial Consultants. This study reviewed EVWD’s current financials, including how the drought and water conservation have impacted revenues, examined the factors that influence the water rates that the District charges its customers, and presented a proposed schedule of potential water rate changes. The study will be available online at eastvalley.org/rates by February 6.
In addition to rate recommendations, the study proposed that EVWD change its billing structure from a uniform rate, in which all water is charged at the same rate, to a budget based rate structure. Budget based rates are an innovative type of water bill structure being used by water districts across California. EVWD is considering this rate structure because it is an industry best practice, treating all customers fairly and promoting water conservation while helping to ensure financial stability.
The adoption of budget based rates would also enable EVWD to implement a number of enhanced conservation outreach efforts. In addition to the rebate programs currently available, EVWD customers would have access to professional landscape evaluations, landscape design and replacement, irrigation efficiency upgrades, and a number of other services. These expanded programs would continue the District’s commitment to helping its customers use water as efficiently as possible.
“East Valley is a proactive organization that plans for the future,” said John Mura, General Manager/CEO of East Valley Water District. “Budget based rates provide us the opportunity to address long-term challenges while better meeting the unique needs of our customers. I look forward to discussing this industry best practice and sharing the many sustainability benefits with our community.”
Per state law, all water service customers subject to the rate changes will receive notice of the proposed changes by mail, and customers who own property served by the District will have the opportunity to submit a written protest. For more information, please contact District staff at (909) 889-9501 or visit eastvalley.org.