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California Map Shows Where People Will See Huge Increases in Water Bills

An updated map created by Newsweek shows where millions of residents in southern California counties can expect their water bills to leap by substantial amounts after another water bill rate hike this week.

Late Water Bills Hit $75 Million and Counting for San Diego, 1 Customer Owes More Than $2 Million

While thousands of San Diegans don’t get their water bills on time, the city has another problem — massive late payments.

Team 10 has uncovered that unpaid bills later than four months have skyrocketed to $75 million in 2023, while four customers currently owe more than $1 million to the city.

Southern California to See Water Bills Double

Millions of Southern California residents could see one aspect of their water bill double. On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) passed a budget that solidified rate and property tax increases for its customers over the next two years.

Long Phone Wait Times for Help Persist for San Diego Water Customers

Every month, thousands of San Diegans don’t get their water bills on time. The city’s Public Utilities Department holds them if a computer flags a problem. It could be a leak or a broken meter, resulting in bills being held for months or even a year.

‘Ridiculous’ Water Bills. ‘Inordinate’ Hold Times. After Years of Customer Complaints, San Diego is Making Sweeping Changes.

Years of complaints about billing mistakes and hours-long customer-service hold times have prompted San Diego officials to make sweeping changes to the city’s Water Department.

The changes include a new billing system, switching customer service software, new call routing, more payment options and a new policy alerting customers when their bill is being withheld for a leak investigation.

The city is also hiring more customer service workers, paying them more, expanding their training and putting new leaders in charge of their efforts.

Need Help Paying Your Water Bills? San Diego County Water Authority Offering Funds

Low-income residents may still access millions of dollars in federal assistance to help pay overdue residential water and wastewater bills, the San Diego County Water Authority announced Friday.

According to a news release, the application deadline for the Low- Income Water Assistance Program has been extended to March 31, 2024.

Congress established the program in 2021, and the federal government provided California with $116 million.

As of now, the state has $40 million available, with $5 million for San Diego County, Water Authority officials said.

Water Authority: Money Available to Help Low-Income Residents with Bill

Low-income residents may still access millions of dollars in federal assistance to help pay overdue residential water and wastewater bills, the San Diego County Water Authority announced Friday.

Money Still Available for Low-Income Water Customers in San Diego County

Millions of dollars in federal aid are still available for low-income water customers in San Diego County to cover overdue residential water and wastewater bills. The San Diego County Water Authority helped secure the federal funds — and the deadline for applications has been extended to March 31, 2024.

San Diego County Water Authority: Money Available to Help Low-Income Residents with Water Bill

Low-income residents may still access millions of dollars in federal assistance to help pay overdue residential water and wastewater bills, the San Diego County Water Authority announced Friday.

According to a news release, the application deadline for the Low-Income Water Assistance Program has been extended to March 31, 2024.

Congress established the program in 2021, and the federal government provided California with $116 million.

As of now, the state has $40 million available, with $5 million for San Diego County, Water Authority officials said.

Low-income-household water bills-federal assistance

Money Still Available for Low-Income Water Customers in San Diego County

Millions of dollars in federal aid are still available for low-income water customers in San Diego County to cover overdue residential water and wastewater bills. The San Diego County Water Authority helped secure the federal funds — and the deadline for applications has been extended to March 31, 2024.

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. The federal government allocated $116 million to California to help households struggling to pay their water bills. Statewide, $40 million remains for the program, with nearly $5 million remaining for San Diego County.

“Water affordability is one of the top priorities for the Water Authority, and we are committed to helping ensure that everyone in San Diego County has access to safe and reliable water,” said Water Authority General Manager Dan Denham. “In addition to the current funds, the Water Authority is supporting efforts to develop federal legislation to make the low-income assistance program permanent.”

Financial aid for water customers

As part of its commitment to water affordability, the Water Authority partnered with the Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee on Anti-Poverty of San Diego County (MAAC) and Campesinos Unidos, Inc. to provide outreach and education so residents who are struggling economically are aware of the federal financial aid for water customers.

To find out if they are eligible and to participate in LIHWAP, customers must apply directly to MAAC or Campesinos, the local service providers selected by the state to implement the program in the San Diego region. LIHWAP will pay water-wastewater bills of up to $2,000. Qualified low-income households, including renters whose utility payments are included in their rent, are eligible for funds. Residents can determine their local service provider at www.csd.ca.gov/Pages/FindServicesInYourArea.aspx, by entering their city and locating their “water utility assistance provider.”

MAAC is a nonprofit that serves 75,000 individuals every year and partners with individuals and families to address their immediate needs and provide them with the tools and resources to achieve economic mobility. More information is at https://maacproject.org/lihwap/.

Campesinos was incorporated as a private non-profit corporation to specifically promote greater social, economic, educational, and employment training opportunities for farm workers and other economically disadvantaged residents of the Imperial, Riverside and San Diego counties. More information is at https://campesinosunidos.org/water-program/.