Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

CWA approves rate increases

The San Diego County Water Authority board approved rates and charges for the Calendar Year 2011 which increase water purchase rates and other charges.

The increase was approved by a weighted 86.40% SDCWA board vote June 24. CWA board members Rua Petty of Rainbow, Mark Muir of Olivenhain, Frank Hilliker of Lakeside, Dan McMillan of Padre Dam, Bud Pocklington of South Bay, and Ron Morrison of National City voted against the higher rates.

The CWA obtains most of its supply from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, whose April 2010 approval of a Calendar Year 2011 rate increase will raise the cost of treated water by 8.9 percent, the cost of untreated water by 6.1 percent, and the cost of transporting water by 18.5 percent. That translates into an expected 12.2 percent increase in the CWA’s costs from purchases of MWD water.

The CWA increases to member agencies, who can either absorb the rate increases or pass them on to retail customers, are 11.3 percent for treated water and 14.7 percent for untreated water. The CWA’s water rates are based on a melded rate involving delivery of water from MWD and water purchased from the Imperial Irrigation District under the Quantification Settlement Agreement.

The CWA municipal and industrial rate per acre foot of untreated water will increase from $532 to $597. The untreated water rate per acre foot was $463 in 2009, $390 in 2008, and $365 in 2007. The surcharge for treated water will remain at the 2010 rate of $215 per acre foot.

The untreated Special Agricultural Water Rate which increased per acre foot from $412 in 2009 to $484 in 2010 will increase to $527 for 2011. The SAWR treated water rate per acre foot, which increased from $580 in 2009 to $699 in 2010, will be $742 in 2011.

The CWA’s transportation rate, which is a uniform rate set to recover capital, operating, and maintenance costs of the CWA’s aqueduct system, will increase from $67 to $75 per acre foot. The rate was $64 per acre foot in 2009.

The Infrastructure Access Charge is used for CWA fixed expenditures which are incurred even when water use is reduced. The CWA board approved an increase in the Infrastructure Access Charge from $2.02 to $2.49 per meter equivalent. The IAC had been $1.90 per meter equivalent in 2009.

The June 24 hearing also approved the pro-rata allocation of charges based on deliveries to each agency. The CWA’s Customer Service Charge, which is also intended to recover costs which support the operations of the CWA and is allocated among member agencies based on a three-year rolling average of all deliveries, was increased from $18,000,000 to $23,200,000. The share for the Rainbow Municipal Water District will be $1,121,724, the Fallbrook Public Utility District will pay $683,760 of that amount, and Camp Pendleton will be assessed $2,908.

The Storage Charge, which recovers costs related to emergency storage programs and is allocated based on a pro-rata share of non-agricultural deliveries, will increase from $34,000,000 to $44,300,000 after increasing from $23,000,000 in 2009. Rainbow’s assessment will be $966,825, FPUD is responsible for $809,527, and Camp Pendleton’s share is $6,381.

The Customer Service Charge and Storage Charge increases will take effect January 1.

The CWA also has a Standby Availability Charge of $10 per acre or $10 for a parcel under one acre, and that remains unchanged.

MWD also has a Readiness to Serve Charge, which is set on a fiscal year basis and which also involves credits for the standby charge and administrative costs. The CWA’s share will increase from $17,481,664 to $18,596,489. That charge is allocated to member agencies based on a 10-year rolling average of demands. FPUD will be charged $276,029, Rainbow’s cost will be $54,821, and Camp Pendleton will pay $4,666.

The MWD Capacity Charge, which is allocated to CWA member agencies proportionally based on a five-year rolling average of flows during peak periods, will decrease from $9,331,200 to $9,204,480. Rainbow’s share of the total is $528,318, FPUD’s contribution requirement is $299,864, and Camp Pendleton is responsible for $1,198.

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