America’s Largest Water District Raising Rates 40%, Says Conservation Cut Revenue

America’s largest water district says declining revenues due to increased water conservation are forcing the agency to significantly raise water rates to remain solvent.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which supplies water for 19 million Americans, is raising its rates 8.5% in 2025 and another 8.5% over baseline levels in 2026. The district’s projections include raising rates an additional 11.5% in 2027 and another 11.5% in 2028 to finance an $8.2 billion water recycling plant that could provide enough annual water for 1.5 million people.

Storms Produce Drier Than Average Snow In Sierras

The first snow survey of 2019 measured almost 2 feet of snow at Phillips Station, although the snow is drier than normal for that location. Those results are better than last January when a paltry 0.3 inches of snow were to be found. Conducted on Thursday, Jan. 3 by staff from the Department of Water Resources (DWR), the manual survey recorded 25.5 inches of snow and a snow water equivalent of 9 inches, which is 80 percent of average for Phillips Station. However, that is better than the statewide average, which is at only 67 percent of average. The results confirm that despite early winter storms, Sierra water content is below average for this time of year.