SPECIAL RATE NOTICE SPRING 2021
You’re invited to attend a Public Hearing about your rates and charges The Board of Directors of Western Municipal Water District (Western) will host a Public Hearing to consider changes to the rates and charges outlined in this document. We invite you to join the conversation and participate in the public meeting.
Comment in support or protest of the proposed rates
Date: Wednesday, June 2, 2021 Time: 6 p.m. Location: 14205 Meridian Parkway Riverside, CA 92518 Virtual: Zoom link available at wmwd.com/BoardMeeting
Any customer or property owner may appear at the hearing to make comments regarding the proposed changes. To submit a formal written letter of support or protest of the proposed rates and charges, customers and property owners who are directly liable to pay water bills may use any one of the following methods and must meet all criteria below to be considered valid.
Include customer name, parcel number and/or service address. Indicate that the letter of support or protest is in response to the proposed water rates. Hand-signed (if mailed or dropped off) or include an image of the protestor’s signature (if emailed). Received prior to the conclusion of the Public Hearing on June 2, 2021.
Mail Western Municipal Water District Attention: 2021 Proposed Rates 14205 Meridian Parkway Riverside, CA 92518 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Note: Protests submitted by electronic means other than the email noted above will not count as formal written protests. In person Outdoor drop box at: 14205 Meridian Parkway, Riverside, CA 92518
Get connected. Stay informed.
What’s Inside 2
Investing in reliability
Your rates keeping pace
Your water budget
Participate in the Public Hearing on June 2, 2021
2021 proposed rates
This notice is intended to convey general information about the proposed rates. More information can be found in the cost-of-service study documents at wmwd.com/2021ProposedRates.
Your water bill and rate structure
Read the full notice Sign up for notifications at wmwd.com/Subscribe Learn about information sessions at wmwd.com/2021ProposedRates Provide a letter of support (or opposition)
Investing in reliability Western serves an area where droughts are a regional reality. Increasing local water supplies and regional sustainability, and maintaining critical infrastructure, are vital to making sure that Western customers have a system and water supply resource they can rely on. In the past five years, Western has been awarded more than $27 million in grant funding to support major system improvements, regional partnerships and customer technology.
Western Water Groundwater
Water supply resources and your delivery system
In Riverside, we’ve constructed an interconnected local water system that will increase supply reliability to homes, schools and businesses. Additionally, with regulations guiding water and sewer treatment requirements, Western is making sure our production, distribution, collection systems and treatment procedures continue to exceed the evolving state and federal standards. By connecting the drops for Riverside County with these important projects, our system is more reliable and designed for long-term service to our region.
Watersupply supply sources | Riverside service area Water sources
56% Local Water
Imported Water *Three-year average from 2017-2019
Water service reliability costs
Purchased water (local and imported)
Water system operations, maintenance and energy
Asset replacement and administration
Visit wmwd.com/CIFP to learn more about how Western is securing your water future.
YOUR RATES KEEPING PACE
Keeping up with rising costs guarantees dependable services To keep pace with rising costs, Western’s Board of Directors will consider a proposed rate adjustment that will affect your water rates and system charges for the next four years, effective with bills issued on or after July 1, 2021. A cost-of-service analysis of Western’s current rates has indicated a need for increased rates to respond to the increasing costs of: • Purchasing imported and local water supplies. • Complying with state-mandated drinking water regulatory requirements. • Maintaining and operating the production and distribution systems to and from your property.
Western is a municipal water district governed by the laws of California, and we cannot and will not charge you more than what is necessary to provide service.
Securing your water supply, now and for the future
Western is here for you every day, guaranteeing service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We think about water all day, so you don’t have to. This special notice will help you learn more about how Western is working hard to keep your drinking water flowing, your landscape hydrated, and your rates as low as possible, now and in the future. But it’s just water… why is it so expensive?
Your water flows through hundreds of miles of aqueducts and pipelines, and this journey to your home is expensive. Nearly 50 percent of all costs included in the proposed rate adjustment for Western’s Riverside service area are outside of Western’s control because they are related to the purchase and delivery of imported water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California or local supplies from the City of Riverside. The remaining costs are associated with the operation, maintenance, and administration of Western’s local system made up of 776 miles of pipeline, 128 pumps, 38 water storage reservoirs, 24 lift stations, and two wastewater treatment plants. Additionally, energy costs are increasing, so delivering water is costing more every year. Western is committed to working to keep costs, and therefore rates, as low as possible for all customers by proactively applying for grant funding, securing local water supplies and optimizing our delivery system. You can view the cost-of-service study at wmwd.com/2021ProposedRates.
Part of the California State Water Project that brings water from Northern California, these aqueducts at the south end of the San Joaquin Valley take pumped water uphill, over the Grapevine, en route to our region.
The results of the study and proposed rate changes are in no way connected to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
YOUR WATER BUDGET Understand your water budget to take control of water usage YOUR INDOOR WATER BUDGET TIER 1
INDOOR People per household
55 gallons per person
Number of days in the billing cycle
Billing Unit Conversion
YOUR OUTDOOR WATER BUDGET TIER 2 INDOOR
Outdoor water budgets each month based on weather conditions and 55 gallons Number of days in Billing Unit People per adjust per person the billing cycle Conversion household landscaping water needs. Staying within your outdoor water budget throughout the year requires you to take action to change irrigation schedules with each season. OUTDOOR Irrigated landscape area
Evapotranspiration (weather data)
OUTDOOR Irrigated landscape area
Evapotranspiration (weather data)
Number of days in the billing cycle
Number of days in the billing cycle
That’s right! Your total water budget is unique to YOU and adjusts with your household size, irrigated area, and daily weather patterns.
Billing Unit Conversion
Billing Unit Conversion
HOW RATES WORK WITH YOUR WATER BUDGET When used together, water budgets and tiered rates reward efficient water use EFFICIENT TIER
54% OF TIER 2 WATER BUDGET
Residential Customers Your total monthly water budget (water budget) is the sum of your indoor and outdoor water budgets. When water usage stays within your water budget, you pay “Tier 1 – Indoor” and “Tier 2 – Outdoor” rates, Western’s lowest commodity pricing.
ALL EXCESS WATER USE
Commercial Customers Some commercial customers have a water meter only for outdoor watering. These “irrigation” or “landscape” customers are billed at the “Tier 2 – Outdoor” rate since 100 percent of water use is outdoors. Some commercial customers have a single water meter for indoor-only or indoor/outdoor use. For “mixed-use” customers, your water budget is calculated using a three-year rolling average of prior monthly use. Currently, 43 percent of your water budget is billed at the “Tier 1 – Indoor” rate and 57 percent at the “Tier 2 – Outdoor” rate.
Tier 3 and 4 rates are charged for water use that exceeds a customer’s water budget. These rates are more expensive because they include additional costs for programs designed to increase water supply and reliability through more efficient water use. Due to positive customer response to Western’s water budget structure, demonstrated by decreased water use during the past 10 years, the rate adjustment proposal seeks to eliminate Tier 5. Historically, the Tier 5 rate covered the cost of more expensive water use efficiency programs.
To allocate costs equitably to all customers, the proposal for “mixed-use” customers is for 35 percent of your water budget to be billed at the “Tier 1– Indoor” rate and 65 percent at the “Tier 2 – Outdoor” rate. Schools with mixed-use meters have their water budget calculated using the student count plus the school’s irrigated area, if applicable.
With the elimination of Tier 5, the proposal expands Tiers 3 and 4. Tier 3 is proposed to change from 25 percent of the customer’s water budget to 54 percent of the customer’s outdoor water budget. Tier 4 rates will be charged for water use exceeding Tier 3.
Commercial customers are also subject to Tier 3 and Tier 4 rates, with Tier 3’s width equal to 54 percent of the Tier 2 budget.
Learn more about water budgets and tiered rates at wmwd.com/WaterBudget. 4
PROPOSED WATER SERVICE RATES A median residential customer will see an average monthly bill increase of 2.1 percent, or approximately $2.33, in the first year. The proposed rates will go into effect with all water use and service charges appearing on billing statements issued on or after July 1, 2021, and each year thereafter for the next three years. PROPOSED RATES Effective with water use and service billed on or after: Variable charges Current 07/01/21 07/01/22 07/01/23 07/01/24 Commodity Charge (per HCF, 1 HCF, = 748 gallons) Water delivered for private fire protection services will be billed at the Tier 2 rate. Tier 1 - Indoor $1.313 $1.885 $1.884 $1.976 $2.092 Tier 2 - Outdoor $2.738 $2.819 $2.969 $3.126 $3.295 Tier 3 - Inefficient $4.178 $3.969 $4.108 $4.273 $4.433 Tier 4 - Wasteful/Unsustainable $4.778 $4.549 $4.688 $4.853 $5.013 Tier 5 - Unsustainable $8.218 N/A N/A N/A N/A Pumping Charge (per HCF) Power Zone 1 $0.127 Power Zone 2 $0.189 Power Zone 3 $0.172 A pumping charge study was performed and new power Power Zone 4 $0.424 zone boundaries were established, effective July 1, 2021. Power Zone 5 $0.736 Find your new Power Zone at wmwd.com/MyPowerZone. Power Zone 6 $0.815 Power Zone 9 $0.127 Power Zone 10 $0.350 Pumping Charge (per HCF) Power Zone 101 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Power Zone 102 N/A $0.140 $0.147 $0.154 $0.162 Power Zone 103 N/A $0.181 $0.190 $0.200 $0.210 Power Zone 104 N/A $0.229 $0.240 $0.252 $0.265 Power Zone 105 N/A $0.686 $0.720 $0.756 $0.794 Power Zone 106 N/A $0.363 $0.381 $0.400 $0.420 Reliability Charge (per HCF)
Fixed charges System Charge (per month) - based on meter size 5/8" Meter $30.43 3/4" Meter $41.40 1" Meter $62.99 1.5" Meter $117.13 2" Meter $139.31 3" Meter $333.98 4" Meter $647.69 6" Meter $847.75 8" Meter $986.44 10" Meter $1,157.24 12" Meter $1,426.61
$26.29 $36.11 $55.87 $105.49 $125.82 $304.30 $597.76 $1,041.68 $1,232.84 $1,470.43 $1,810.84
$27.19 $37.36 $57.81 $109.16 $130.19 $314.89 $618.61 $1,235.61 $1,479.24 $1,783.62 $2,192.07
$28.13 $38.65 $59.81 $112.95 $134.71 $325.85 $640.20 $1,429.54 $1,725.64 $2,096.81 $2,573.30
$29.09 $39.99 $61.89 $116.88 $139.39 $337.20 $662.55 $1,479.47 $1,972.04 $2,410.00 $2,954.53
$1.42 $2.13 $3.55 $7.10 $8.52 $21.30 $42.60 $95.85 $127.80 $170.40 $239.63
$1.44 $2.16 $3.60 $7.20 $8.64 $21.58 $43.16 $97.11 $129.48 $172.64 $242.78
$1.52 $2.28 $3.79 $7.57 $9.09 $22.71 $45.42 $102.20 $136.26 $181.68 $255.49
MWD Readiness-to-Serve Charge (per month) - based on meter size 5/8" Meter $1.47 $1.33 3/4" Meter $2.21 $1.99 1" Meter $3.69 $3.32 1.5" Meter $7.37 $6.63 2" Meter $8.85 $7.96 3" Meter $22.12 $19.88 4" Meter $44.24 $39.76 6" Meter $99.54 $89.46 8" Meter $132.72 $119.28 10" Meter $176.96 $159.04 12" Meter $248.85 $223.65
Western continues to work hard on projects like the Sterling Reservoir and Pump Station to secure access to more sources of local water to provide customers the water they need during times of drought and emergencies.
HOW WILL THE NEW RATES IMPACT MY MONTHLY BILL? The sample billing comparison below represents the water charges for a median residential customer located in Power Zone 102 with four people in the home; 4,961 square feet of irrigated landscape area; connecting via a 3/4-inch meter; and using 25 billing units of water per month. $111.83
Current Jan. 1, 2020
Proposed July 1, 2021
Proposed July 1, 2022
Proposed July 1, 2023
Proposed July 1, 2024
$110 $105 $100
COMMERCIAL CUSTOMERS ONLY – PRIVATE FIRE SERVICE RATES Commercial buildings have at least one dedicated water pipeline for fire suppression use. This dedicated pipeline, called a “private fire service,” is used to accommodate the rapid delivery of large volumes of water in the event of a fire. Western is proposing a change to the methodology for calculating the System Charge for private fire service to comply with industry standards established by the American Water Works Association.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR WATER BILL AND RATE STRUCTURE Western’s rate structure for water service is comprised of both variable and fixed charges.
The variable charges described below are based on the number of units of water delivered to a property during the billing period. A “unit” of water is one hundred cubic feet (HCF), which is equal to 748 gallons.
The fixed charges described below support the system of pipelines, pumps, and reservoir tanks needed to meet the total demand from all of our customers at any given time. The potential capacity demand is reflected by the size of the meter serving the customer’s property. The larger the meter, the greater the potential water capacity demand.
Commodity charge This is the cost of water used during the billing period. This charge pays for the actual cost to purchase water and/or pump and treat water from local wells. It also recovers a portion of the costs to operate and maintain the entire drinking water system. This charge is divided into four tiers, which impose higher rates as the level of water use becomes more inefficient and exceeds the customer’s water budget.
MWD Readiness-to-Serve charge The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) supplies most of Western’s imported water. This charge supports MWD’s system capital costs for emergency and standby storage facilities, such as Lake Skinner and Diamond Valley Lake, that deliver supplies reliably during droughts, emergencies, major facility outages, hydrologic variability, and variances in local resources.
Reliability charge This charge supports the cost of capital expenditures for infrastructure that enhances local water supply reliability. This charge also supports building projects that lessen our need to import water from Northern California.
System charge This charge recovers a portion of Western’s costs such as system maintenance, repair and replacement, as well as water treatment, water quality testing, environmental compliance, meters, and administrative costs. The charge for private fire service is calculated using industry standards established by the American Water Works Association.
Pumping charge This charge supports the cost of energy needed to move water to the Western storage reservoir that serves your area. Some service areas, or power zones, require more energy than others due to their location and elevation. To find your Power Zone, visit wmwd.com/MyPowerZone.
Pass-through provision The proposed water Commodity and MWD Readiness-to-Serve (RTS) Charges are based on current and estimated future rates and charges to be imposed on Western by our water providers. If the actual rates and charges imposed on Western by our water treatment providers are higher than the estimated amounts, then Western is proposing to pass through to our customers the incremental difference by increasing the proposed rates of the water Commodity and/or MWD RTS Charge. Such increases, if any, will not exceed 12 percent per year, and in no event will such rates be increased by more than the cost of providing water service. In addition, the proposed water Pumping Charge is based on current and estimated future rates and charges to be imposed on Western by its energy providers. If the actual rates and charges imposed on Western are higher than the estimated amounts, then Western is proposing to pass through the incremental difference by increasing the proposed rates of the water Pumping Charge. Such increases, if any, will not exceed 12 percent per year, and in no event will such rates be increased by more than the cost of providing water service.
Monthly System Charge Pipe Diameter Size 3-inch 4-inch 6-inch 8-inch 10-inch 12-inch
Current 5/8" Bypass Meter $30.43 $30.43 $30.43 $30.43 $30.43 $30.43
Current 3/4" Bypass Meter
PROPOSED RATES Effective with water use and service billed on or after: 07/01/21 07/01/22 07/01/23 07/01/24
$41.40 $41.40 $41.40 $41.40 $41.40 $41.40
$10.63 $14.93 $30.33 $56.89 $96.85 $152.23
$10.98 $15.41 $31.33 $58.77 $100.05 $157.27
$11.36 $15.96 $32.46 $60.91 $103.71 $163.02
$11.72 $16.46 $33.47 $62.80 $106.92 $168.08
General Information: 951.571.7104
Western Municipal Water District 14205 Meridian Parkway, Riverside, California 92518
If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic or are behind on your bill, Western has programs and payment plans available to help you. For program information and to determine eligibility, visit wmwd.com/PaymentAssistance. You can also contact our Customer Service team Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 951.571.7104 or email@example.com.
Customer payment assistance programs
Session 2 • Thursday, April 22, 2021 | 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Session 1 • Thursday, April 22, 2021 | 9 to 10:30 a.m.
Customer Information Sessions We strive to remain transparent and educate our customers about what to expect during proposed rate adjustments. A series of virtual customer information sessions are scheduled to share the process and encourage our customers to join the conversation. Join us in securing your water future.