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2019 Water/Wastewater Rate Study Presentation

We expect clean, safe water to flow from our taps, but how much time do we stop and think about the journey our water makes? Water is a critical resource that none of us can live without, which is why Santa Monica’s Public Works Department works around the clock to ensure residents and businesses continue to receive safe, reliable, and high-quality water. In order to effectively do this, we have to continue to invest in our water and wastewater system. Santa Monica’s Public Works Department has set out on a five-year water and wastewater rate study to evaluate the cost alternatives to ensure Santa Monica has a well-maintained water system, keep water bills low over time, and can achieve our 2023 water self-sufficiency goal established by Council.  Preliminary findings of the five-year water and wastewater rate study was presented at a Study Session with City Council on August 13, 2019.  The presentation from the City Council Study Session could be found here.

Link: August 13, 2019 Council Presentation

Link: August 13, 2019 Council Presentation (Spanish)

Sustainable Water Master Plan

The City of Santa Monica recently completed an update to the City’s Sustainable Water Master Plan to achieve water self-sufficiency by 2023.  The pathway to achieve water self-sufficiency consists of three key components: 1) increasing water conservation efforts to permanently reduce water demand, 2) developing sustainable and drought resilient alternative water supplies, and 3) expanding local groundwater production within sustainable yield limits.  The benefits of becoming water self-sufficient include: long-term cost benefits for water ratepayers, establishment of a diverse, sustainable, and drought resilient local water supply, and reduction of the City’s water supply energy footprint.  Please click on the link below to access the complete Sustainable Water Master Plan Update.

Link: Sustainable Water Master Plan

9% Water Rate Increase Approved for 2019

On Tuesday, January 8, 2019, the Santa Monica City Council authorized the previously approved 9% water rate increase for calendar year 2019. The rate increase will be effective on water bills issued on or about 3/1/2019.  Click here to view the staff report.

Santa Monica Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency Formation

On Tuesday, May 9, the Santa Monica City Council authorized the City to participate in the formation of a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) over the Santa Monica Basin in concert with LADWP, the City of Beverly Hills, Culver City and Los Angeles County.  Santa Monica sources approximately 75% of its potable water from the Santa Monica Basin.  The GSA will develop and implement a Groundwater Sustainability Plan to ensure groundwater is managed on a sustainable basis; see the Memorandum of Understanding for more details.

5% Water Rate Increase Approved for 2017

On November 22, 2016, Council approved a partial suspension of the planned 9% water rate increase for calendar year 2017, opting instead to implement a 5% rate increase.  This rate adjustment will provide for 100-year water main replacement schedule ($4M/year) instead of the current 205-year schedule ($2M/year) to reduce the risk of main breaks.  The new rates will be effective on bills issued after March 1, 2017 for meter read periods beginning January 1, 2017.  View the State of the Water Fund report presented to Council.

2016 Report on Water Quality Relative to Public Health Goals

Every three years, the City reports on how the quality of water at the consumer's tap compares to Public Health Goals set by the California Environmental Protection Agency.  Santa Monica's water meets or exceeds all Federal and State water quality standards.  Public Health Goals are even more stringent standards for contaminants which may be exceeded while still complying with mandatory water quality standards.  Click here to read the report presented to the City Council on September 13, 2016.

Reporting for Emergency Regulation for Statewide Conservation

In accordance with a new “stress test” prescribed by the State Water Resources Control Board (adopted May 18, 2016), the City has determined it has sufficient water supplies to meet the community’s water demands over the next three years.  This positive result is due in large measure to Santa Monica’s outstanding conservation response during, and before, the current drought situation.  Although the City meets this regulatory requirement, the City’s own conservation target will remain at a 20% reduction level, corresponding to Stage 2 of Santa Monica’s Water Shortage Response Plan.  Click on the links below to review the supporting documentation:

June 22, 2016, Self-Certification Supporting Analysis and Documentation

Water Shortage Response Plan

2015 Urban Water Management Plan Update 

On May 24, 2016, the Santa Monica City Council adopted the 2015 Urban Water Management Plan (18.1 MB) which presents the City's long-term strategy for managing its water resources and maintaining water quality.  

5% Water Rate Increase Approved for 2016

On February 23rd, 2016, City Council approved a partial suspension of the planned 9% water rate increase for calendar year 2016, opting instead to implement a 5% rate increase.  The new rates will be effective on bills issued after March 1, 2016 for meter read periods beginning January 1, 2016 (meter read periods are approximately 61 days in length).  View the State of the Water Fund report presented to Council.

Rate Study Report

The rate study addressing the analysis of forecast revenues and expenditures in the Water Fund is available at the following link:

Prop 218 Notice (Proposed Water Rates)

On January 5th, 2015, a notice of the City's proposed water rates was sent to all City of Santa Monica parcel owners and water rate payers.

Below is the link to the notice that explains the rationale for the rate increase, the proposed schedule, and procedures to submit a written protest.

Questions About Your Water Bill?

310-458-8224, Press 1

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