Strong fiscal management and sound governance will allow Santa Fe Irrigation District customers to experience no potable water rate increases in calendar year 2021. At its November 20 meeting, the Santa Fe Irrigation District’s Board of Directors and staff worked to identify resources that will be utilized to maintain current rates. This decision is reflective of the solid financial position the District is in and based on the impacts the pandemic continues to have on the region and customers. The Board voted to use available District reserves to absorb a 4.8% wholesale water increase from the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) and forgo any District rate increases effective January 1, 2021.
“2020 has been a unique and challenging year for our customers and community, and the district has implemented sound financial policies in order to reduce impacts to our customers during such situations,” said Board President Michael Hogan. “The well-being of our customers is important to the district and we continue to evaluate policies and initiatives to control costs while providing safe and reliable water service.”
The utilized reserves are from last year’s water from Lake Hodges, a local supply which allowed the District to reduce imported water purchases. Additionally, the District had anticipated increasing rates by 3% to offset inflationary pressure seen on chemicals, energy costs, etc. on January 1, 2021. The Board approved not implementing this increase based on budgetary savings anticipated in the current year from implemented cost controls (i.e. not filling a vacant position, receipt of grant revenues for capital projects, and other cost cutting measures) and utilizing other District reserves to balance the budget, while still maintaining the District’s fiscal health.
Santa Fe Irrigation District is a special district that provides potable and recycled water service to the communities of the city of Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe and Fairbanks Ranch.