The Santa Fe Irrigation District (SFID) Board of Directors approved a scheduled 3% rate adjustment at its November meeting, which will go into effect on January 1, 2022. To minimize impacts to customers, the Board also approved utilizing the Local Water Fund to absorb the wholesale water rate increase of approximately 8.4% from the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD). The scheduled rate adjustment was a part of a Board approved three-year rate study presented in January 2020. Last November, the Board voted to forgo a scheduled rate increase and absorb the SDCWA increases as well bringing the total to 11.7% over two years, citing impacts of the pandemic and sound fiscal management.
The rate adjustment will impact each customer differently, depending on their meter size and water use. On average, customers with a ¾ inch meter will see an estimated increase of $7 per bi-monthly bill. Even with the approved rate adjustment, SFID is in the lower quartile of water rates throughout San Diego County.
This rate increase, which is lower than current year-over-year inflation of over 6 percent, will assist SFID in responding to supply chain issues affecting operational costs of delivering water. During the last fiscal year, SFID has implemented measures resulting in cost savings of nearly $1 million annually. These measures include reducing energy costs and long-term pension obligations, among others.
“As stewards of a precious resource, affordability and fiscal sustainability are two of the core tenets of SFID,” said Michael Hogan, Board President. “This rate increase will allow the District to responsibly manage our costs while reacting to inflationary pressure of the marketplace as the pandemic eases. As we prepare for our next cost-of-service review in 2022, we remain committed to our customers and the sustainability of our finances and environment, as laid out in our recently approved Strategic Business Plan.”