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Water Rate Increase Implemented
New rates effective July 22, 2009

July, 2009

During the water rate adjustments that have been made over the last several years, the City has consistently indicated that similar increases would be occurring each year for the foreseeable future. On June 22, 2009, the City Council approved water rate increases by an average of 9% (when combining the proposed increases in the monthly basic service charge and the monthly consumption rates).

Click here for the udpated water service rates.

Why is this water rate increase necessary?
Redwood City buys all of our community’s drinking water from one source – the Hetch Hetchy regional water system, administered by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). The proposed rate increases are largely a result of significant projected increases in the wholesale cost of water from the SFPUC (their increase is projected at 15.7% this year).

The City must pass these cost increases along to our customers in order to fund the maintenance and operation of a reliable, long-term water supply system. These efforts enable the City to continue to provide the most reliable and efficient water supply to our community possible, both for existing customers and for the generations of the future.

Unfortunately, these wholesale water cost increases are expected to continue as the Hetch Hetchy rebuilding project gains momentum, so Redwood City and its customers will continue to see additional rate increases in the coming years.

What is the approval process for the proposed water rate increase?
The City Council considered this proposed water rate increase at a public hearing on June 1st, 2009, and gave it final approval at a public meeting on June 22, 2009. The City mailed out public hearing notices to all its water customers, which is required by law. If more than 50% of property owners formally protest the rate increase, then the increase would not have taken place.

The new water rates became effective on July 22nd. All bills generated on or after that date are impacted by the new rates. Because of our bi-monthly billing cycle, for some customers the new rates will apply to water used as of July 1st.

What does the average 9% increase look like on my water bill?
The monthly basic service charge, which is currently $16.05 per month, increased by 3%, to $16.53. This rate adjustment to the monthly basic service charge is necessary to pay for increasing costs of equipment, supplies, salaries, and services required for the operation and maintenance of the water system, or what might be called our “fixed costs.”  

The monthly consumption rate (the amount you pay per unit – 748 gallons – of water used) increased by 12% for all customers. The revenue from the consumption rates pays for the purchase of wholesale water, power to run the pumping systems which transport the water, capital improvements to the water system, our active water conservation program, and the cost of our recycled water program.

With both of these elements of your bill taken together, the average overall increase is 9%.

Click here for the udpated water service rates.


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