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Escondido water rates climb 5.3 percent



The water rate increase adopted by the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) went into effect on January 1. As a result, the pass-through rate in­crease to Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District (Rincon Water) custom­ers represents an overall 5.3 percent in­crease for potable water use.

Based on the SDCWA’s increase, Rincon Water’s residential customers will now pay $5.34 for Tier 1 (1-5 units), $6.21 for Tier 2 (6-24 units), and $6.59 for Tier 3 (25 or more units) water use during each billing period (1 unit equals 1,000 gallons).

Non-residential customers will pay $5.81 for each unit of water used. These increases will begin appearing on cus­tomer bills starting with the statements to be delivered in early February.

The SDCWA-approved rate increase represents a revised rate structure nec­essary to ensure adequate revenue to maintain infrastructure during manda­tory drought reductions and associ­ated reduced sales. It will address other wholesaler costs relative to fixed and variable charges, as well as to factor in costs associated with the construction and operation of the new Carlsbad de­salination plant.

According to David Drake, Rincon Water’s Board president, most of the po­table water used by Rincon Water cus­tomers comes through a complex system of aqueducts and pipelines connected to the Colorado River and northern Cali­fornia water supplies.

“The economy and our existence de­pend on this precious imported water that travels hundreds of miles to our fau­cets,” Drake said. “The costs associated with maintaining and improving this vast infrastructure have doubled since 2008, and are expected to continue in­creasing for years to come,” he added.

Although Rincon Water has worked hard to absorb rate increases in the past, its 2015 Comprehensive Water Cost of Service and Rate Study revealed it can’t continue that practice.

“Rincon Water and its staff have taken steps to cut operational costs and become as efficient as possible,” said Greg Thomas, Rincon Water’s general manager. “Unfortunately, we can no lon­ger absorb increased costs for water out­side of the District’s control. The Board of Directors is proactively working to minimize impacts on customers while maintaining the lowest rates possible,” he said.

The best way to minimize the impact of the rate increase is to become as effi­cient as possible with water use. Rincon customers are encouraged to register for WaterSmart, a free tool that allows ac­cess to hourly water use data, custom­ized water conservation opportunities, rebate availability, and leak notifica­tion. See for de­tails. The new rate sheet is available on Rincon Water’s website at 2016Jan01.pdf.

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