Why Should I Care? - Understanding & Communicating California's Rising Water Rates

There is no end in sight when it comes to the pressure to raise water rates in drought-fatigued California. The chronic drought, combined with continuing water conservation mandates, landscape changes and other circumstances have created an environment of uncertainty for water sales. Communicating necessary rate increases to customers who have met or exceeded conservation targets poses another challenge. The good news is that southern California, especially Los Angeles County, historically has among the lowest water rates, according to studies. The bad news is that, with or without drought, pressure to raise rates will continue due to continuing fixed costs such as repairing aging pipes, employee salaries, renewable energy goals and compliance with ever more stringent water quality regulations. Moreover, there are strong indications that the water use restrictions ordered by the State Water Resources Control Board in response to the drought may become permanent.

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