SSWD Considers Water Rate Increase Recommendations

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The SSWD Board of Directors is currently considering recommendations found in SSWD’s 2020-2024 Water Rate Study (Rate Study), which provides a detailed review of the District’s costs and the rates needed to support the delivery of safe, high-quality and reliable water service. The study, prepared by an independent financial consulting firm, includes an in-depth financial plan and analysis of current revenues, operation and maintenance costs, capital investment plan, and reserves.  

The Rate Study found that SSWD’s income and planned expenses are well-balanced and managed, and recommends a rate increase of 3 to 5 percent in each of the next five years to primarily cover the costs of inflation. The rate increase recommended in the study is:

  • 5 percent in 2020
  • 4 percent in 2021
  • 3 percent per year in 2022, 2023 and 2024 

The Rate Study considered where SSWD could reduce or optimize costs before considering if rates should be adjusted. The Rate Study determined that roughly $47 million of Capital Improvement Program expenditures needed to make improvements in the water system could be deferred over the next 10 years, but that operational costs would continue to increase at or slightly above the overall rate of inflation. Based on the Rate Study's analysis, small rate increases are recommended each year in 2020 through 2024 to allow SSWD to ensure its revenues keep pace with the costs of providing water service to you.  If approved by the SSWD Board of Directors, the proposed rate increases would take effect on January 1 of each year, beginning January 1, 2020. 

Other recommendations include:

  • Updating SSWD’s rate structure for single-family, multi-family and non-residential accounts to fairly allocate costs of providing service among service classes.
  • Minor increases to SSWD’s financial reserves (essentially its savings account) to cover fluctuations in capital improvement needs or unexpected contingencies. 

Learn more:

  • The Rate Study and its recommendations are available.
  • In August, SSWD will be mailing a more detailed notice directly to customers which describes how proposed rate increases will impact water bills.
  • In October, the Board of Directors will hold a Public Hearing to receive input from customers and consider the study’s recommendation to increase rates. The hearing will take place on Wednesday, October 16, 2019, at 6:00 pm, in the SSWD Board room at 3701 Marconi Avenue, Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95821.

Provide input:

There are several ways to provide input to the Board as they consider the Rate Study recommendations:

  • You can make oral comments during the public hearing on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at SSWD or submit written comments to the Board before or at the hearing.
  • Or, you can protest the proposed rate in writing during the Public Hearing or by mailing or delivering comments to SSWD before the hearing. Written protest must comply with the requirements described in the rate adjustment notice mailed to you and must be received by the end of the Public Hearing on October 16 in order to be counted.

If you have any questions about the Rate Study, its recommendations, or how to provide input, please call the office at 916.972.7171 or send an email to feedback@sswd.org. 

Additional Information

The 2017 Water System Master Plan

The 2019 Annual Budget

Frequently Asked Questions About Water Rates