Coachella Valley Water District’s (CVWD) Board of Directors today approved a $409.9 million operating and capital improvement budget for fiscal year 2018-19, which keeps domestic water rates stable, thanks in part to offsetting project costs through loans and prudent use of reserve funds.
Staff and the Board of Directors have met several times over the last few months in Study Sessions to discuss the operating and capital improvement budgets for the coming year. A comprehensive Cost of Service Study two years ago recommended a five-year plan of rate increases based on assumptions about anticipated revenue and expenses; however, this year’s analysis demonstrated that no rate increases would be needed.
“We have worked to maintain fiscal health without raising rates,” said CVWD Board President John Powell, Jr.
Though the actual budget amount did increase this year, CVWD was able to offset any rates increases with the use of grants and reserve funds.
CVWD provides a number of different water-related services to the community and, by law, must keep the funding and spending related to those services separate. Under Proposition 218, CVWD can only charge a customer the costs of delivering that service.
Other rate changes
In a separate action this year, the Board also kept rates steady for the Replenishment Assessment Charge (RAC) for private groundwater pumpers in CVWD’s service area. The RAC is used to fund the district’s groundwater replenishment program.
In addition, the Board maintained Canal water rates, without an increase.
The Coachella Valley Water District is a public agency governed by a five-member board of directors. The district provides domestic and irrigation water, agricultural drainage, wastewater treatment and reclamation services, regional storm water protection, groundwater management and water conservation. It serves approximately 109,000 residential and business customers across 1,000 square miles, located primarily in Riverside County, but also in portions of Imperial and San Diego counties.