2024 Water Rates
The Santa Fe Irrigation District (District) is committed to controlling our costs to minimize rate increases for customers. This includes targeted spending on capital projects to ensure long-term reliability in our water treatment and distribution systems, wisely investing rate-payer funds to provide additional revenues, reducing pension and retirement obligations, and having a long-term vision for projects that can assist in controlling costs for customers into the future, among others. The District has only raised rates for our operations 6% since 2020, despite inflation exceeding 21% during this time period; which demonstrates this commitment.
The District reviews the need to increase rates annually on January 1st to provide for increased operations & maintenance and / or capital spending. Despite continued rising costs for chemicals for water treatment, pipelines, gasoline, electricity, building materials, etc.; the District is not increasing water rates effective January 1, 2024 for our operational costs.
However, the District purchases water provided to our customers through the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA), who imports the majority of this water from the Colorado River and, to a lesser degree, the Sierra Nevada mountains. The price to purchase water from SDCWA continues to rise, with their prices effective January 1, 2024 increasing 10% (though this does not mean a 10% increase to customers, as shown below in customer examples). To break-even, the District is required to pass these costs on to our customers, which will change the bi-monthly fixed charge and variable water prices paid from the current level to the following. Included below are some example customer impacts for single-family residential customers with 3/4", 1". and 1.5" meters.
Additionally, prior to 2023, the District was able to utilize water from Lake Hodges to account for approximately 30% of our customers’ water demands; reducing the amount of water that the District relied on SDCWA for. Unfortunately, due to the City of San Diego’s lack of maintenance on Lake Hodges dam (as they are the sole owner, and despite the District paying annual operation and maintenance fees), the State of California’s Division of Safety of Dams restricted the amount of water that can be kept in Lake Hodges. This has dramatically reduced the amount of water that the District can utilize from Lake Hodges, and making our customers rely more on costly water from SDCWA.
The District is continuing to work with the City of San Diego to assert our rights and trying to restore this source of locally controlled and less-costly water.