Water rate increase, postponed during pandemic, approved to start in January

Desert Water Agency officials recently approved a rate increase that had earlier been postponed.

A water rate increase postponed in July of 2020 will go into effect 18 months later, in January 2022. The Desert Water Agency (DWA) Board of Directors unanimously approved the rate increase at their meeting on September 21.

The rate adjustment was the last of five planned increases approved in late 2016 to cover replacement of aging pipelines and the increased cost to import water. Last summer, DWA’s Board of Directors approved a streamlined budget that did not include the planned July 2020 rate increase.

The decision to delay the rate increase was one of many COVID-19 relief measures to assist customers hit hard by the pandemic. In 2021, additional supply chain and labor shortage issues have increased material and contract costs, pushing Agency staff to recommend the long-delated rate increase. The increase will go into effect in January of 2022 and will appear on February 2022 bills. The average customer could see an increase of about $11 a month.

As a government agency, DWA does not make a profit and can only charge the cost of service. As such, DWA is now in the midst of another cost of service study, which will determine if the water rates are in alignment with Agency costs.

You can find details on the rates at www.dwa.org/rates or by calling 760-323-4971.

Need help? Customers struggling to pay their water bill can apply for $200 a year in credit. That and other resources are available at www.dwa.org/h2o

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