This State Program Offers Assistance With Your Water Bill | Dollars & Sense

Many families across California are struggling to afford their residential water and sewage bills.

A state program offers help in paying those bills, but the deadline to apply is fast approaching.

Sweetwater Authority customer affected by flood damage should contact the agency to apply for available assistance programs. Photo: Sweetwater Authority

Sweetwater Authority Offers Help To Flood Damage Victims

Sweetwater Authority customers impacted by flooding due to San Diego County rainstorms in early 2024 can seek assistance as they begin recovery efforts.

The Sweetwater Authority Governing Board approved a 12-month freeze on late fees and discontinuation of water service for non-payment for customers who sustained flood damage. The moratorium aims to alleviate financial stress and allow customers to focus on recovery efforts.

“The Board is dedicated to the well-being of our customers, especially during challenging times,” said Board Chair Paulina Martinez-Perez. “By providing this benefit for customers affected by recent flooding and exploring ways we can provide more assistance in the future, we demonstrate our commitment to helping our community recover and thrive.”

Contact Customer Service to Access Flood Relief Help

Impacted customers should immediately contact Sweetwater Authority Customer Service at (619) 420-1413 to discuss their account needs. They can apply for the benefit through the Authority’s website.

To be eligible for benefits, customer accounts must be located in areas identified as impacted by the cities of Chula Vista, National City, or the County of San Diego. Any other accounts will require verification by Sweetwater Authority staff.

Sweetwater Authority also works with customers who cannot pay their water bills by offering extended payment plans whenever possible. The Governing Board is exploring the implementation of an in-house assistance program specifically tailored for low-income customers.

Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program

Low-income-household water bills-federal assistance

The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP), established by Congress in 2021, offers one-time payments to cover outstanding residential water and/or wastewater bills. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

In addition, the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) offers additional support for all customers facing financial challenges. The program provides payment for current or past-due water bills.

LIHWAP was established to provide aid during the pandemic. It has been expanded and extended through March 2024. Since September 2022, Authority customers have received over $250,000 of assistance from this program.

Qualified customers can apply for funding at or call the Authority’s Customer Service team for more information.


Elk Grove Water District Will Help Some Households Pay Late Bills. Here’s How to Sign Up

The Elk Grove Water District is putting together a free sign-up event Friday that will provide a leg up for low-income households struggling to pay bills. The event will help residents apply for assistance through the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP), a federally funded program operated by California Department of Community Services and Development.


Millions Still Available to Help Low-Income San Diegans With Water Bills

A fund to help San Diego County residents pay their water bills still has $2.5 million sitting unclaimed. According to leadership of the nonprofit Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee on Anti-Poverty, or MAAC, which manages the fund, many people may not realize they qualify for assistance.

“We don’t want to leave money on the table when there are people that absolutely need these funds right now,” said Arnulfo Manriquez, MAAC’s president, who oversees the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program.

$2.5 Million Available for County Residents Struggling to Pay Water Bills

The Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee on Anti-Poverty of San Diego County has financial aid available for low-income water customers in the region to cover residential water and wastewater bills.

There is $2.5 million available for income eligible households through MAAC’s Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program—no past due balance or debt owed is required to qualify.

Up to $2,000 In Water Bill Assistance Now Available to Qualified SWA Customers

Chula Vista, Calif. – Sweetwater Authority (Authority) customers may be eligible for water or wastewater bill assistance from a new federal debt relief program. The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) provides a one-time payment of up to $2,000 to qualified customers.

The program is administered locally by Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee on Anti-Poverty of San Diego County (MAAC). After the customer applies to the program, MAAC will work directly with the Authority to apply funding to the qualified accounts.