Mesa Water to Update Rates for 2014 through 2018

Board to Consider Changes to Water Rates at 12/12/13 Hearing

WHO: In anticipation of the rising costs of water supplies and the need to upgrade aging infrastructure, the Mesa Water District (Mesa Water) Board of Directors will consider and vote on proposed changes to its rates structure.

WHAT: Mesa Water District Board Meeting and Public Hearing regarding proposed water rate changes. The public and press are welcome to attend.

WHEN: Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Mesa Water Board Room, 1965 Placentia Avenue, Costa Mesa

WHY: The proposed changes to Mesa Water’s rates structure will cover: 1) the increased costs of water pumped from the groundwater basins, and of repairing or replacing aging pipes, valves, wells, and hydrants, 2) debt service for the Mesa Water Reliability Facility (MWRF) which allows the District to achieve its goal of using 100 percent local water supplies; and 3) set aside a small amount of funding for future needs.  The breakdown is as follows:

  • Increased Operations Costs & Infrastructure Improvements – 84 percent
  • MWRF Debt Service – 9 percent
  • Reserves (for emergencies and stabilizing the District’s credit rating) – 7 percent

Over the next five years, Mesa Water plans to make infrastructure improvements that are estimated to cost approximately $35 million. Through Mesa Water’s careful planning of its water infrastructure maintenance and repairs, the District is saving money for its ratepayers over the long-term.

The MWRF has helped eliminate Mesa Water’s need to purchase imported water for its customers, though imported water is still used by the Orange County Water District to replenish the groundwater basin from which Mesa Water pumps its water. The MWRF construction was funded at very low interest rates due to Mesa Water’s AAA rating—a rarity among government agencies.

Some revenues will be invested in Mesa Water’s reserve fund so that it can have cash-on-hand for emergencies, while also strengthening the District’s credit-worthiness so that it can continue to qualify for low-interest loans.

Mesa Water’s proposed rate increase for 2014 will be an average $2.09 per month per household, or $4.18 per billing cycle (every other month).  Even with this proposed increase, Mesa Water continues to have the lowest expenditures per full-time resident (per capita) among water districts in Orange County.  If the District’s proposed rate changes are approved, Mesa Water’s per unit cost of potable water will remain at 1 cent for 2 ½ gallons of water.

HOW: More information about how the public can participate in the rates change process is in Mesa Water’s public hearing notice that was mailed to all Mesa Water customers on October 23rd, and has been posted on MesaWater.org and throughout the community. FAQs about the District’s proposed rate changes are posted on Mesa Water’s website.

About Mesa Water

Founded on January 1, 1960, and governed by a publicly-elected, five-member Board of Directors, Mesa Water is an independent special district that provides water service to 110,000 residents in an 18-square-mile service area that includes most of Costa Mesa, a portion of Newport Beach, and John Wayne Airport. Mesa Water provides 100 percent local reliable groundwater to its customers due to the Mesa Water Reliability Facility. Visit MesaWater.org, follow @MesaWater on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, email, or call 949.631.1200 to learn more.