Why do water and wastewater rates need to change?

The City must continually invest in our water and wastewater systems to maintain reliable services. The funds generated by water and wastewater rates are used to provide safe drinking water and treatment of wastewater for over 110,000 customers. Water and wastewater rates fund facility and infrastructure operations, maintenance and repairs, cover debt payments, build emergency reserves, and allow investments in capital projects. Rate adjustments are needed to advance water and wastewater projects prioritized in our master planning and capital improvement plans. Adjustments are evaluated normally on a 5-year cycle, and factor in inflation rate adjustments, cost of service changes, drought-related impacts, water quality impacts, and regulatory mandates.

Based on recent plans and studies, it is projected that $400 million is needed in water and wastewater expenditures over the next six years to support our community. To meet this demand, an increase in water and wastewater rates is needed in 2021. The most recent rate study demonstrates a need for an annual rate increase of seven percent for water service and six percent for wastewater service over the next five years. The increase is approximately $7.76 each month for the average homeowner. The changes to rates provide our community with the means to address critical challenges as well as provide new opportunities to strengthen our community’s water resiliency including:

  • Closing an existing water supply gap by providing a new water supply resource
  • Responding to state-driven regulatory mandates to improve water quality
  • Maintaining a stable investment in our existing water and wastewater system so that maintenance costs are not deferred and greater in the future
  • Addressing legal requirements to reduce wastewater discharge to the estuary

Show All Answers

1. Why do water and wastewater rates need to change?
2. Why would rates change if we currently have enough water?
3. Would rates change if we did not need additional water supplies?
4. Has conservation helped to address water supply needs?
5. How does new development affect rates?
6. How will the revenue from our rates be used to improve our water and wastewater systems?
7. When was the last rate change?
8. How do Ventura's rates compare to other cities and water districts?
9. What influence does the VenturaWaterPure Project have on potential changes to the water rate structure and proposed rates?
10. Why can't water conservation be used in lieu of VenturWater Pure?
11. Which parts of our current rates were evaluated?
12. What is the process for determining rate changes?
13. What is the schedule for rate changes?
14. How often are rates evaluated and updated?
15. Who approves rate changes?
16. How do I know that the proposed rates are equitable?
17. How will the proposed rates impact my household bill?
18. What other changes can I expect?