The San Diego County Water Authority adopts a rate and charges increases for 2023, citing inflammatory pressure on prices for residents and businesses.
The rates and charges will increase by 3.7 percent for untreated water and 5.2 percent for treated water for the Water Authority’s member agencies. The increases follow public hearings and according to the agency, “attribute to historically high inflation, significant energy cost increases from SDG&E, and continued cost increases by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California”.
“The strategic steps taken to minimize rate increases in the face of rising costs reflect the Board’s commitment to water affordability,” said Water Authority Board Chair Gary Croucher. “We continue to ensure a safe and reliable regional water supply for residents and businesses as California endures a third straight year of drought.”
The Water Authority plans to draw $14 million from the rate stabilization fund to help offset approximately $39 per acre-foot.
“Strategic withdrawals from the fund help avoid rate spikes, especially those driven by reduced water sales,” the agency said.
In 2023, the Water Authority will charge its 24 member agencies the equivalent to an all-in rate of $1,579 per acre-foot for untreated water, or $56 more per acre-foot than they currently pay. Charges would be $1,929 per acre-foot for treated water, or $96 more per acre-foot than in 2022.
According to the agency, an acre-foot is about 325,900 gallons, enough to serve the annual needs of 2.5 typical four-person households in San Diego County.
The agency said actual figures will vary for each retail member agency. Each member agency will incorporate costs from the Water Authority into the retail rates it charges to residents, businesses, and institutions.
“The Water Authority’s overall rate increase is driven by multiple factors, including rising costs for its water supplies, increases to water treatment (driven by energy costs) and conserved water supplies (driven by inflation), and continued increases from MWD,” the agency said.