How are water and wastewater rates set?

Known as a rates study, the City hires an expert independent financial consultant every several years to examine our finances, our operations and maintenance costs, anticipated capital improvement costs, and the amount of money held in reserve accounts for emergencies like earthquakes, drought, wildfires, etc.

Rate studies analyze the rate structure (how customers are charged for service) and the rates (the amount you pay per unit of water and wastewater service) and make recommendations to ensure everything is aligned with community values and priorities.

The City recently completed one of those rate studies, which partnered the consulting team with a Water and Wastewater Rate Study Advisory Committee - a diverse group of residents appointed by City Council. They studied the issues deeply and returned with a recommendation to - in simple terms:

  • Maintain the wastewater rate structure, keeping the way customers are charged the same.
  • Adopt a tiered water rate structure that charges different prices for water based on how much is used, encouraging people to conserve.
  • Over the next several years, increase the rates for both water and wastewater service to fund critical infrastructure investment.

Show All Answers

1. Where does our water come from?
2. How are these services funded?
3. What is the current condition of our water infrastructure?
4. What infrastructure investment projects are planned?
5. How are water and wastewater rates set?
6. When will City Council decide whether to accept the Advisory Committee’s Recommendations?
7. Can you help me understand what volumetric charges mean?
8. Can you help me understand the idea behind tiered water rates?
9. Can you help me understand the idea behind tiered water rates?
10. Why are my wastewater charges calculated using AWC?