City Council to Vote on Water Rate Increase Tuesday

City council is expected to vote on a nearly 20% increase to water rates for San Diego residents.

If approved, this would increase rates 10.2% beginning Dec. 1, 2023, then up to an additional 8.7% beginning Jan. 1, 2025.

Mayor Todd Gloria said this would equate to an approximate $12 increase to the average residents’ monthly bill.

Expensive Water Bill? Expert Gives Tips on Ways to Cut Your Home Use and Save Money

Water bills can be a big expense for many people, so we spoke with a water efficiency expert about ways to cut down on your water use in every part of your home.

Krista Guerrero with the Metropolitan Water District says the first thing you should do is to check for leaks in your home.

Leaks can be a major drain on your bank account and officials say the first place to look is inside your bathroom. Guerrero said the top water-wasting culprit is your toilet but there’s a simple way to check for a leak.

Padre Dam Customers Could Be Facing Even Higher Bills

Already paying some of the highest water bills in the nation, customers of Padre Dam Municipal Water District as well as 22 other agencies could see their rates increase even more if two North County water districts secede from the San Diego County Water Authority.

Both the Fallbrook Public Utilities District and the Rainbow Municipal Water District have been trying to leave the CWA because they say the costs for the purchased water is too high, and they can get it cheaper by joining the Eastern Municipal Water District in Riverside County.

San Diego County Water Authority And its 24 Member Agencies

LAFCO Decision Could Raise Region’s Water Bills by Nearly $200 Million

Updated figures released today show that disadvantaged communities, working families, farmers, and others across San Diego County will be forced to pay nearly $200 million more over the next decade for water service unless agencies seeking to leave the Water Authority are required to fully cover their costs.

On July 10, the San Diego Local Agency Formation Commission’s board is expected to vote on a plan for the Fallbrook and Rainbow water agencies to leave the San Diego County Water Authority, possibly with the inclusion of an “exit fee.” However, LAFCO’s figures are based on years-old data and flawed projections that understate the annual costs of detachment by at least 50%. Like everything else, costs related to water supplies have inflated significantly over the past three years.

LAFCO’s data don’t reflect the inflationary realities or the fact that the financial impacts of detachment will continue far beyond LAFCO’s five-year horizon, which does not reflect the actual lifespan of water infrastructure or the debt used to finance it. The LAFCO staff report acknowledges impacts will continue far longer than five years, suggesting that the rest of the county should pay for benefits to Rainbow and Fallbrook.

“From the start of this process, one of our top priorities was making sure that residents across the region aren’t harmed financially. It’s critical that ratepayers who are struggling to make ends meet, independent farmers, and small businesses aren’t forced to subsidize Fallbrook and Rainbow for years to come,” said Water Authority Board Chair Mel Katz. “We encourage the LAFCO Commissioners to require Fallbrook and Rainbow to fully cover their costs.”

LAFCO’s staff recommendation to approve the detachment proposals by the Fallbrook and Rainbow water agencies does not include substantive analysis of impacts to disadvantaged communities, or to agriculture in the Water Authority service area. Nor does it include environmental analysis required by law.

The LAFCO staff recommendation includes an exit fee of about $4.8 million a year for five years, which isn’t close to covering the actual costs that will be shifted to residents elsewhere in the county.

Here’s how much retail water agencies in the region may have to pay each year to cover the projected $18.9 million bill from Fallbrook and Rainbow leaving:


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Water Bills Will Spike for 140,000 San Jose Residents Starting July 1

Water bills will be rising for nearly a tenth of San Jose’s residents starting July 1 after San Jose councilmembers approved the rate hike on Tuesday — one of the largest increases in the region this year.

Customers under the city-run San Jose Municipal Water System (SJMWS) will see a 14% rise in their bills — about $16 extra per month. SJMWS serves roughly 140,000 residents in North San Jose, Alviso, Evergreen, Edenvale and Coyote Valley.

Officials blame the rising costs on increased prices from third-party water providers, supply and usage issues related to drought conditions and future infrastructure projects. In total, SJMWS expects to receive $8.9 million from the increase.

Councilmembers voted 9-2 for the price increase, with Councilmembers Domingo Candelas and Bien Doan voting against it.

Water usage is expected to remain the same this coming year — and costs are expected to rise in the years ahead. By 2024, water bills could go up by 15%, 11.5% in 2025 and 10% for the next seven years after that.

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.

How Washing My Hands With ‘Toilet Water’ Cut My Water Bills in Half

It’s hard to be blasé about the Sink Twice. I don’t want to oversell a plastic sink that sits over a toilet tank, but this ingenious, relatively low-cost device could help save the world. Why? Because it saves water. It saves money. It motivates children and adults to wash their hands. It’s a great conversation starter. And it’s really fun, which by itself makes the Sink Twice worth the $83.99 price tag.

Federal Cash Arrives for San Diegans Drowning in Water Bills as Shutoffs Resume

Thousands of San Diegans are struggling to pay their water bills as shutoffs resume across much of the state. Experts fear the burden will only get worse as the cost of water continues to soar, driven in part by ongoing historic drought.

However, federal emergency cash is now providing temporary relief for many low-income residents — up to $2,000 for unpaid water bills.

Help Paying Water Bills May Be on Way for Low-Income Californians

María Dolores Díaz sighs when she opens her water bill every month because she knows what she’ll see: another bill that she’ll struggle to pay.

Diaz looks at the envelope and doesn’t want to open it because she wonders: How much, this time? “Ya nomás miro la carta y ‘aí ya no lo quiero abrir!’ Porque yo digo ‘¿ahora cuánto?’

San Diego Taking Steps for Possible Water Rate Hike

If you are still watering your lawn or taking long showers, you might want to start practicing how to cut back on your water usage because come next year, water bills could go up.

 “I don’t like it and I don’t feel good about it,” said Ron Aguila, a Kearny Mesa resident who was shopping for house supplies.