Water Supply Investments and Other Factors That Influence Water Rates

Mesa Water is committed to providing its customers an abundance of local, reliable, clean, safe water.

As a public agency, Mesa Water’s rate setting is regulated by state law. Proposition 218 of the California Constitution states that a water agency can only charge for the cost to procure, treat, and deliver water to the customer, and the amount of water delivered to the customer is documented at the customer’s water meter. Mesa Water cannot charge rates that result in a profit.

Mesa Water strives to provide efficient and cost-effective water services while aligning its rates with the cost of providing those services. While our last rate adjustment took inflation into account, no one predicted that current inflation would reach historic highs. Energy consumption costs and rising labor and supply costs have risen significantly. Historic inflation has also affected the Replenishment Assessment charged to Mesa Water for pumping groundwater out of the Orange County Groundwater Basin.

Additional factors in considering a new rate schedule include the repair or replacement of  Mesa Water’s systems and assets. Even without the need for repair, a water system requires regular wide-ranging maintenance to help achieve its designed lifespan. Mesa Water has been working on $70 million of needed water system enhancements including new groundwater wells, reservoir upgrades and mainline valve replacements. Our maintenance program is one of the ways that we are able to protect customers from rate volatility because maintaining infrastructure is much less costly than emergency repairs.

Rate Study

After assessing the financial impacts of rising costs to provide water, as well as the need to invest in major capital infrastructure improvements over the next five years, Mesa Water has determined that the most prudent course of action is to consider rate adjustments.The proposed water rate adjustments are based on a multi-year financial plan and a rate study, prepared by an independent consultant, which can be found below.  

Learn More