News Release - May 17, 2023
Corte Madera – The Marin Water Board of Directors has approved changes to customer water rates, fees and charges that will help the District recover from the recent drought and ensure crucial investments in water supply alternatives, aging infrastructure as well as wildfire mitigation and forest-health efforts on the Mount Tamalpais Watershed – the District’s primary source of water supply.
Approved during a Public Hearing on Tuesday, May 16, the new four-year rate and fee schedule includes a series of increases that will be implemented during the next four fiscal years, starting July 1, 2023. The changes within the approved rate schedule include three main components. First, an adjustment to Marin Water’s current tiered rate structure to reflect reduced customer demand trends and align cost recovery. The change adjusts volumetric unit rates for all customers and reduces Tier 1 and Tier 2 allotments for duplex and single-family residential customers. The second component is a modification to Marin Water’s fixed fees, which includes converting the Watershed Management Fee to a uniform volumetric rate and incorporating recent customer demand metrics into the fixed fee calculation methodology. This change will help to promote customer water conservation and allow customers greater control over their monthly bills. Finally, the rate changes include drought surcharges that would go into effect only during declared water shortages and will ensure Marin Water can recover lost revenue and increased costs during future droughts.
The rate changes were developed through a cost of service analysis prepared by an experienced independent rate consultant. As part of the rate setting process, Marin Water also held multiple public meetings and public workshops to explain the cost-of-service analysis, factors being considered in the assessment of the District’s revenue needs, and the rate setting process, including legal requirements. A special notice was also mailed to all water customers and parcel owners within Marin Water’s service area setting forth details of the rate proposal and scheduled public hearing on the rate adoption.
Marin Water’s new rate and fee structure is being implemented in conjunction with investments in the community’s water future. Guiding these actions is a recently completed yearlong Strategic Water Supply Assessment, which culminated with the adoption of a water supply roadmap that outlines near-term capital projects to increase water supply availability within the next few years along with the continued development of longer-term water supply options.
“This week’s decision is foundational for Marin Water to address our vulnerabilities to climate change-driven water supply impacts and to make essential upgrades to our infrastructure,” said Marin Water Board President Monty Schmitt. “From generating new water sources, to protecting our watershed, to replacing aging infrastructure, the new rate schedule enables high priority investments in critical elements of our district that are essential to the continued delivery of high-quality and reliable water to our customers.”
Customers may access more information on the rate changes, including a rate calculator to determine what the new total amount of their water bill will be at marinwater.org/2023RateSetting.