The Eastern Municipal Water District announced today that they'll be raising rates by 14%. Customers will see the rate increase on statements mailed out February 1, 2010.
Last Wednesday, the EMWD Board of Directors voted to pass through a portion of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) rate increase to customers. As a result, tiered water rates will increase by 14 percent.
The EMWD gets most of its water from the MWD.
The MWD implemented a 19.7% rate increase last September, which added another $10.5 million to EMWD's costs.
"Water used to be free," said Randy Record, EMWD's representative on the MWD board. "But for us to make up for the loss of dependable water supplies from the Colorado River and from court-ordered restrictions on how much we can pump from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, we're having to pay others $200 or more per acre-foot for water transfers."
Most residential customers will see their water bills go up between 6% and 13%, depending whether they stay within their water budgets or use excessive or wasteful amounts of water.
Those who remain within their monthly water budgets will likely see increases from $1 to $6. Typical customers in excessive or wasteful tiers could see rate hikes of $13 to $32 or more.
Unaffected by the rate hike are the approximately 12,000 customers in the San Jacinto Valley's "Improvement District 24", also known as Fruitvale water customers, that are served exclusively by well water.
According to Ron Sullivan, EMWD board president, "We are forgoing projects and expenses that aren't needed right away for health, safety and reliability. But we also have to realize what would happen to our good credit rating (AA) if we didn't pass along these higher rates. If our credit rating dropped, our customers would have to pay more for future financing."
|Current Rates (per 748 gallons)||New Rates as of Feb 1, 2010|
|Indoor (Tier 1): $1.301||$1.483|
|Outdoor (Tier 2): $2.381||$2.714|
|Excessive (Tier 3): $4.267||$4.864|
|Wasteful (Tier 4): $7.805||$8.898|