Ventura Water customers will see newly adopted water and wastewater rate adjustments reflected on monthly billing cycles starting on July 1, 2022. The Ventura City Council unanimously approved five-year water and wastewater rate increases on May 17, 2021.
Rate increases will support both daily operation and maintenance of the City’s existing water and wastewater systems, along with approximately 36 planned capital improvement projects, including the long-anticipated State Water Interconnection Project and VenturaWaterPure Program.
“For many years, our local water sources have been impacted by drought, regulatory and legal constraints,” shared Ventura Water General Manager Gina Dorrington. “Now is the time to continue to invest in our aging infrastructure and projects that will help meet regulatory requirements, help secure sustainable water supply for existing and future customers and improve our water quality.”
Over the course of eight public meetings and nearly a year of deliberation, the Water Commission, in partnership with City staff and a third-party financial consultant, underwent an extensive water and wastewater rate study to evaluate the City’s water rate tiers, water shortage rates, wastewater rate structure, and financing options for major projects.
The results of the study showed that an average annual rate increase of seven percent for water service and six percent for wastewater service was needed each year to continue to operate and maintain the systems, repair, and replace aging infrastructure, secure water supply, improve water quality, and meet legal and environmental regulations.
In response to California’s third consecutive year of drought conditions, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) adopted the emergency regulation on May 24, 2022. The emergency regulation places a ban on irrigation of non-functional or decorative grass for commercial, industrial, and institutional (CII) sectors. Ventura Water is also required to implement demand reduction actions.
“The City of Ventura remains one of the largest cities in Southern California that relies solely on its own local water supplies,” shared Ventura Water General Manager Gina Dorrington. “Through the years, our community has worked together to make conservation a Ventura way of life through simple action steps that add up to big water savings. We’re asking local residents to join the City in voluntarily helping us reduce water consumption.”
Each year, Ventura Water evaluates the City’s water supply and demand, while considering future needs, challenges, and uncertainties relating to Ventura’s water supply reliability. The annual Comprehensive Water Resources Report (CWRR), assesses the City’s water supply sources including Lake Casitas, Ventura River, and local groundwater basins.
While the results of the annual report indicated that the City is not in a current water shortage event, the City Council approved the expansion of public outreach and education to encourage residents to voluntarily reduce water use by 20 percent in support of statewide emergency regulations.
The City of Ventura is doing its part by turning off irrigation at all non-functional turf at its facilities and reducing watering times at various parks and recreational areas.
At this time, single-family residential properties in the City of Ventura are encouraged to reduce water use by 20 percent. Stricter measures, including implementing water shortage rates and mandatory outdoor watering restrictions, could go into effect if demand reductions are not achieved through voluntary efforts.
For local drought updates, visit www.CityofVentura.ca.gov/DroughtUpdate. To learn more about Ventura Water’s incentives and rebate programs for water efficiency, visit www.CityofVentura.ca.gov/WaterRebatesFor more information, or to see a comparison between old and new rates, please visit www.venturawaterrates.net.