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Archived News Release from 2007

For Immediate Release

Redwood City Considering Implementation of “Water Capacity Charge” on New Developments

Redwood City, CA - May 25, 2007 - At its meeting of June 4th, 2007, the City Council of Redwood City will consider taking action to implement a “Water Capacity Charge” that would be paid by new developments based on their projected new water demand. This charge is designed to ensure that any new development will pay an equitable share of the capital costs associated with Redwood City’s Recycled Water Project and water conservation programs, which are both key elements in the City’s efforts to ensure a stable and dependable future water supply for the community.

The June 4th meeting begins at 7 pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 1017 Middlefield Road.

The Recycled Water Project and water conservation programs make available increased potable (drinking) water supply for existing customers, and to accommodate new developments. Therefore it is in the interest of equity for new developments to “buy-in” to these water supply enhancement programs.

For new development (and existing customers who request a larger water meter), this will be a one-time charge, and will be in addition to the City’s existing water utility connection fees. It will affect development ranging from new single-family, multi-family, and high-density dwellings, to office, commercial, hotel, and restaurant development.

The amount of the charge is calculated based on several factors, including the City’s $72 million bond issuance to fund the Recycled Water Project and some water conservation programs, the total maximum gallons of recycled water capability of the treatment plant, and the projected annual water demand for a given new development. The actual one-time charge calculates to $11.58, times the projected number of gallons per day for that development. For example, a typical capacity charge for a new condominium development would be $1,529 per unit (indoor use). The full staff report will be online as of May 31.

Redwood City is leading the region in its efforts to not only reduce overall water use, but also to create additional water supply. This is being accomplished through a variety of water conservation programs including replacement of playing fields with synthetic turf, and the City’s Recycled Water Project which supplies reclaimed water for irrigation and industrial use, thus freeing-up potable water for other uses. These programs are currently being paid for the City’s water utility rate-payers. The City’s adopted Water Financing Plan recognizes that this presents an inequity, since any new developments will reap the benefits of this increase in water supply while not having paid into the capital costs of those projects. Thus, the Plan recommends that a Capacity Charge be adopted, similar to many other water agencies in California.

Visit Redwood City’s award-winning website at for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, and local business. Take a look at the variety of City webcams at, and subscribe to Redwood City’s email newsletter and other City documents by visiting


Peter Ingram, Director
Community Development Services
(650) 780-7379


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