Proposed Water Rate Adjustment

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New Water Rates Approved at Public Hearing on January 16th - Effective March 8th

At the January 16, 2018 City Council meeting, the City held a Public Hearing to consider proposed adjustments to our water rates in order to pay for the new pass-through water production costs related to the ongoing drought conditions in our region.

These fees are being levied on the City by the Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster (Watermaster) and the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District (Upper District) in order to address the water supply shortage in the Main San Gabriel Basin following the historic, decade-long drought. Instituting these fees allowed the Watermaster to purchase 40.7 billion gallons at a cost of over $100 million to replenish the groundwater aquifer that supplies our region, and return the Basin to a healthy level to ensure a continued water supply. 

In accordance with California’s Proposition 218 process, those customers opposed to the new rates were required to submit a protest ballot. If 50% + 1 of water customers, equivalent to 4,650 ballots, protested the new rates, then the City Council would be unable to adopt them. In total, the City received 583 protest ballots, which did not meet the 50% +1 threshold. After hearing public input, the City Council moved to approve the new rates.

The new costs will take effect as of March 8, 2018, and will first appear on customers’ April 2018 bills.

Aviso de audiencia pública sobre ajustes de la tarifa propuesta para el servicio de carga de agua

El martes, 16 de enero de 2018, o después de 19:30, el Ayuntamiento de Monrovia celebrará una audiencia pública para considerar la propuesta de ajuste a la tarifa del agua. Para obtener más información, llame al (626) 932-5575. Si desea información en Español oprima aquí.

 

Reasons for the Water Rate Adjustment

The City of Monrovia draws its water from multiple underground aquifers within the Main San Gabriel Basin ("Basin"), which is managed by the Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster ("Watermaster"). The Basin is currently experiencing unprecedented drought conditions that require drastic measures be taken to replenish the water supply and raise groundwater levels. For nearly six years, the Basin has sustained the worst-ever drought conditions on record. Even though California received record rainfall this past year, which led Governor Brown to declare the State of California drought free on April 4, 2017, the situation in the Basin is still dire, as the condition of the aquifer means that our region is still in a serious drought condition.

In order for the Basin aquifer to be considered healthy, groundwater levels at the Key Well need to consistently be above 200 feet, with a recommended operating level of 250 feet. The lowest that our groundwater levels have ever reached was 172.2 feet in October 2016. As of November 3, 2017, the current key well level was 183.2 feet. These dangerously low groundwater levels threaten to render 10% of all water production wells in the Basin inoperable, which could lead to widespread water shortages.

Historically, the Basin’s water management plan relied on rain to recharge our underground aquifer. However, in response to the extended drought, the Watermaster recently developed a Drought Management Plan, which involves purchasing imported water to help replenish the Basin.

In addition to developing the Drought Management Plan, in May 2017, the Watermaster implemented new directives that create two significant new costs for water production on all retail water producers in the San Gabriel Valley, which entails approximately 30 agencies, including the City of Monrovia.

Regulatory agencies that manage the groundwater in our region have the ability to levy pass-through assessments onto the City. These agencies include the Watermaster as well as the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District ("Upper District"), which purchases and resells available imported water to local agencies within the Basin. 

For additional background information, please view the agenda report and presentation from the November 7th City Council Meeting:


New Water Rates

The new water rates take into consideration the City's ongoing operational costs, the costs of capital replacement and maintenance, and the costs of purchasing additional water, which includes pass-through assessments. 

The water service charge is comprised of two components, both of which have proposed adjustments:

  1. A fixed monthly water service ("stand by") charge, which is based on the customer's water meter size; and
  2. A per-unit consumption charge, which varies based on the amount of water used during each monthly billing period. 

Currently, the typical single-family residential customer pays an average of $40.84 / month for water service based on 15 units of water consumption. Based on the proposed rates, these residential customer bills will increase by $16.87 / month in 2018, bringing the typical residential customer bill to $57.71 / month. Rates will continue to increase through 2022, when it is estimated that the typical residential bill will be $77.70 / month, which is $36.86 / month more than what residents are paying today.

Table 1. Water Rate Adjustment - Impact on Typical Single-Family Residential Customers
 Service Description   Current Monthly Water Rates  New Monthly Water Rates
2017 Effective
3/8/18
Effective
1/1/19
 Effective
1/1/20
Effective
1/1/21
Effective
1/1/22
Water service charge for a typical single-family residence (5/8 or 3/4 inch meter sizes) $15.34  $30.56  $34.53  $37.12  $39.91  $41.10
Per-unit consumption rate (748 gallons/unit)  $1.70  $1.81  $2.05  $2.20  $2.37  $2.44
Total Monthly Estimated Charge*  $40.84  $57.71  $65.28  $70.12  $75.46  $77.70

*  Estimated charge based on an average of 15 units of water consumption in a month. Actual totals will vary based on water usage.


Senior / Low Income / Veteran Discounts Available

A discount will continue to be offered to residents for whom the proposed rates would present an undue burden. The discounts are available to qualifying customers who are seniors (65+), economically disadvantaged, and veterans. 


Supporting Documents


AVISO DE AUDIENCIA PÚBLICA SOBRE AJUSTES DE LA TARIFA PROPUESTA PARA EL SERVICIO DE CARGA DE AGUA 

Se invita a todas las personas interesadas a asistir a la audiencia pública y ser escuchado sobre el ajuste propuesto para el cargo de servicio para el servicio de agua. Todos los clientes que reciben el servicio de agua pueden protestar por el ajuste de precio de servicio propuesto por la presentación de una protesta por escrito por correo o en persona a la oficina del Secretario de la Ciudad, 415 Sur Ivy Avenue, Monrovia, CA, 91016. Las protestas escritas deben ser recibidas (no matasellos) por el Secretaria Municipal antes o durante la audiencia pública. No se aceptará ninguna protesta presentada por e-mail u otros medios electrónicos

La protesta debe ser firmado por el cliente de agua y debe incluir la dirección de la calle (es) de todos los bienes (es) de servicio. Sólo una protesta por escrito por cliente de servicio de agua se contará a los efectos de determinar si hay protesta mayoría.

Cada cliente de agua se permitirá un voto de protesta por factura.

Descuentos Senior/bajos ingresos/los veteranos

Un mayor descuento y bajos ingresos descuento estará disponibles para la calificación de residentes.