From the General Manager – June 2016

The Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) Board of Directors will soon consider a proposal for rate increases and changes to the rate structure.

Based on a comprehensive Cost of Service Study and national industry standards, CVWD staff has proposed a five-year plan for domestic water rates. If approved, the new rates would go into effect on July 1 and would be the first rate increases for domestic water since 2010.

The adjustments will affect HOAs, residents, and businesses differently because the new proposed fixed rates vary based on customer class. A homeowner who efficiently uses water may see approximately a $6 monthly increase in their water bill while HOAs will see as much as a 90 percent increase.

The CVWD Board also will consider changes to the rates for Replenishment Assessment Charge (RAC) customers who have their own wells. These rate adjustments are also based on a Cost of Service Study and are critical for CVWD’s groundwater replenishment program, the key toward ensuring a reliable, long-term supply of high-quality water for the Coachella Valley.

Thanks to the forward thinking of your past Sun City Shadow Hills Board of Directors – which approved turf reduction, selective overseeding, and precision removal where plant material was overpopulated – the Association has saved tens of thousands of dollars in water fees.

The historic drought and state-mandated conservation encourage changes to the water-budget-based rate structure. In addition, CVWD is facing the largest capital improvement project in its history, responding to the state’s new drinking water standard for Chromium-6. The best solution is projected to require approximately $250 million in capital expenses, plus ongoing operating and maintenance costs. Ongoing capital improvement also is needed to protect the drinking water system to ensure it can meet the needs of approximately 318,000 residents daily.

Some of the proposed changes include:

Decreasing the indoor portion of the water budget to reflect industry standards based on today’s water-efficient appliances.

Tightening the outdoor portion of the water budget to promote conservation. Previously, the budgets were designed to allow enough water for 100% grass. Given the historic drought and increased support of desert-friendly landscaping, the budgets will be designed to accommodate 50% grass and 50% desert-friendly landscaping.

Slightly increainge the irrigation efficiency factor for outdoor budgets.

For more information about the proposed water rate changes and the dates of upcoming public workshops and CVWD Board of Directors meetings, visit