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San Diego County Water Authority Pass-Through Rate Increase

Takes Effect for Rincon Water Customers

 

Escondido, CA – The water rate increase adopted by the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) has gone into effect as of January 1, 2017. As a result, the pass-through rate increase to Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District (Rincon Water) customers represents an increase of 34¢ per unit of potable water use. Based on the SDCWA’s increase and Drought Level 1 conditions, Rincon Water’s residential customers will now pay $6.09 for Tier 1 (1-5 units), $7.03 for Tier 2 (6-24 units), and $7.44 for Tier 3 (25 or more units) water use during each billing period (1 unit equals 1,000 gallons). Non-Residential customers will pay $6.60 for each unit of water used. These increases will begin appearing on customer bills starting with the statements to be delivered in early February.

According to the SDCWA, the approved rate increase is driven by higher costs from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California as well as operational costs associated with the drought-proof water supplies afforded by the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant. The rates are also impacted by state-mandated reductions in water use that are expected to lower the SDCWA sales compared to previous projections.

One of the best way to minimize the impact of the rate increase is to become as efficient as possible with water use. Rincon customers are encouraged to register for WaterSmart, a free tool which allows access to hourly water use data, customized water conservation opportunities, rebate availability, and leak notification. Please visit www.rinconwater.org for details. The new rate sheet, effective January 1, 2017 is also available by clicking here.

October - 2016

NOTE:  Public Comment period for the Initial Study closed on October 10, 2016.

With three developments planned for the Harmony Grove area in the vicinity of Escondido, one of which is already under construction, waste water must inevitably be addressed.  With the Harmony Grove Village Water Reclamation Facility (HGVWRF) already constructed, two other separately planned waste water treatment plants are also on the drawing board.  As the local water agency, Rincon Water is proposing to expand its service portfolio in order to provide the Harmony Grove area with master-planned wastewater services to better serve the community residents and the environment. A map of the proposed project area is available by clicking here.

As identified in its Strategic Plan, Rincon Water is proposing to become a sewer agency and to acquire the existing HGVWRF from the County and then provide full water-related services to the area.  The HGVWRF has the potential to service the entire Harmony Grove area, making the construction of two new plants no longer necessary, significantly reducing costs and improving efficiency, as well as expanding sewer connection opportunities to more than 250 existing residential properties.  All wastewater entering the system would then be treated to Title 22 Standards as disinfected tertiary recycled water to be used for landscape irrigation within the community.

The process of expanding Rincon Water’s services is a lengthy one, requiring initial studies, environmental impact reports, public hearings, and final LAFCO approval.  Rincon Water has completed the initial study which has identified minimal environmental impacts of the proposed project.  The initial study and Notice of Preparation will be available here and can be accessed by clicking on the underlined links on this page.

 

 

 

June 2016

Rincon Water's Board of Directors rescinded the Level 2 - Drought Alert and returned to Level 1 - Drought Watch on 06/28/16, after meeting the State Water Resources Control Board's (State Board) stress test requirements for drought conditions. As part of our commitment to transparency, the documents submitted to the State Board can be viewed by clicking here.

** NEWS RELEASE **

San Diego County Water Authority Pass-Through Rate Increase

Takes Effect for Rincon Water Customers

Escondido, CA – The water rate increase adopted by the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) has gone into effect as of January 1, 2016. As a result, the pass-through rate increase to Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District (Rincon Water) customers represents an overall 5.3% increase for potable water use. Based on the SDCWA’s increase, Rincon Water’s residential customers will now pay $5.34 for Tier 1 (1-5 units), $6.21 for Tier 2 (6-24 units), and $6.59 for Tier 3 (25 or more units) water use during each billing period (1 unit equals 1,000 gallons). Non-Residential customers will pay $5.81 for each unit of water used. These increases will begin appearing on customer bills starting with the statements to be delivered in early February.

The SDCWA-approved rate increase represents a revised rate structure necessary to insure adequate revenue to maintain infrastructure during mandatory drought reductions and associated reduced sales, to address other wholesaler costs relative to fixed and variable charges, as well as to factor in costs associated with the construction and operation of the new Carlsbad desalination plant.

“Most of the potable water used by Rincon Water customers comes to us through a complex system of aqueducts and pipelines that connect us to the Colorado River and northern California water supplies. The economy and our very existence depend on this precious imported water which travels hundreds of miles to our faucets. The costs associated with maintaining and improving this vast infrastructure have doubled since 2008, and are expected to continue increasing for years to come,” said David Drake, Rincon Water’s Board President.

Although Rincon Water has worked hard to absorb rate increases in the past, its 2015 Comprehensive Water Cost of Service and Rate Study revealed it can’t continue that practice. “Rincon Water and its staff have taken steps to cut operational costs and become as efficient as possible. Unfortunately, we can no longer absorb increased costs for water outside of the District’s control. The Board of Directors is proactively working to minimize impacts on customers while maintaining the lowest rates possible,” reported Greg Thomas, Rincon Water’s General Manager.

The best way to minimize the impact of the rate increase is to become as efficient as possible with water use. Rincon customers are encouraged to register for WaterSmart, a free tool which allows access to hourly water use data, customized water conservation opportunities, rebate availability, and leak notification. Please visit www.rinconwater.org for details. The new rate sheet, effective January 1, 2016 is also available on Rincon Water’s website at rinconwater.org/images/Rincon/Rates-2016Jan01.pdf.

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