The Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (EVMWD) Board of Directors approved, 4 to 1, two years of rate increases for the Elsinore and Temescal divisions in response to mounting operations expenses. The new rates take effect on Sept. 1, 2019, and July 1, 2020.
“Adjusting rates is not a decision we take lightly. But it is sometimes necessary in order to protect the public’s investment in the water system, which EVMWD must maintain to reliably deliver clean, safe drinking water to the community,” said EVMWD Board President Andy Morris.
Effective Sept. 1, the average household in the Elsinore Division, which uses approximately 21 units of water a month, will see a $4.26 increase in their monthly bill. Since rates differ by location and elevation, customer impact will vary.
The monthly bill for the average household in the Temescal Division, also using 21 units of water, will increase about $7.68. The change in Temescal Division rates is driven by a $4 million construction project to restore one aging well and replace another.
Water rates must account for the true cost of providing service. An independent rate study showed that increases are necessary to cover the costs of water and energy, maintenance, treatment, infrastructure and delivery. EVMWD imports 65 percent of its water from Northern California and the Colorado River, so the costs for delivery are much higher than water produced locally. The district also must comply with new state requirements for water quality testing and increased reporting.
EVMWD has instituted numerous cost-cutting measures and utilized “rainy day” funds to minimize rate increases. Costs are being off-set by over $30 million in grants and low-interest loans and the lease of district-owned property to create revenue.
To encourage customer conservation and reduce bills, EVMWD offers rate assistance, rebates and incentive programs. For additional information, visit evmwd.com.