Sonoma Water’s Fiscal Year 2021/22 Water Transmission Budget funds the ongoing maintenance of more than 100 miles of underground pipelines and supporting facilities. More than 600,000 residents rely on this underground pipeline system for their drinking water. The budget also includes funding for environmental restoration efforts along the Russian River and Dry Creek, two major natural pipelines that help deliver water from Lake Sonoma to groundwater wells.
Wholesale water rates are determined by using a calculation outlined under an agreement between Sonoma Water and its water contractors. This document, called the Restructured Agreement for Water Supply (Restructured Agreement), requires Sonoma Water to set rates based on budgeted operations and maintenance costs and past water sales. Water transmission rates are calculated by first identifying the funding necessary to operate, maintain, and improve Sonoma Water’s transmission system and dividing this amount by either the amount of water delivered over the last twelve months or the average annual amount of water delivered over the last three years; whichever is less. The Restructured Agreement also requires Sonoma Water's Board of Director’s to approve wholesale water rates by April 30 of each year.
Sonoma Water has proactively reduced its operations and maintenance costs by 9% over the past 10 years. The proposed rate increase aligns with Sonoma Water's Long Range Financial Plan which plans annual rate increases of 4-6% and allows us to meet our operating and capital needs while minimizing rate spikes. We are able to reduce the impact on our ratepayers by reducing expenditures, reducing power costs, and deferring maintenance projects and other studies wherever possible. The use of grants, fund balance, and bond proceeds helped reduce the rate increase even further.
Wholesale water rates are increasing due to:
Please contact Lynne Roselli at (707) 524-3771 or Lynne.Roselli@scwa.ca.gov