customer care

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July 23, 2024 12:15PM
July 23, 2024 12:15PM

customer care


Since 1997, IRWD has consolidated with five water districts. The integrated services of IRWD allow for reduced overhead and administrative costs and lower rates and charges to customers of the consolidated district. When considering consolidation requests, the District looks for increased efficiencies through economies of scale and mutual benefits from combined expertise and resources.  Although consolidations differ depending upon the local agency, the basic consolidation process is generally as follows: the agency seeking consolidation issues a Request for Proposal  that provides a framework and service requirements for the specific area in question. If IRWD determines that it is both appropriate and fiscally prudent to enter into consolidation discussions, we will respond to the RFP. If selected, IRWD and the agency seeking consolidation will develop and agree to the terms and conditions of the consolidation agreement and an application will be filed with the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission. LAFCO then evaluates and makes a decision on whether or not to accept the consolidation proposal.   The following is the IRWD consolidation and timeline:

2008 - Orange Park Acres Mutual Water Company

The merger bOPAetween Orange Park Acres Mutual Water Company and IRWD was overwhelmingly approved by the OPAMWC shareholders on April 10, 2008 and became effective June 1, 2008. The OPAMWC Board of Directors successfully negotiated an acquisition and annexation agreement with IRWD that lowered the cost of water service and improved system reliability to customers currently serviced by the OPAMWC. Upon consolidation with IRWD, former OPAMWC customers were fully integrated into IRWD and now receive services and operational benefits enjoyed by all customers throughout the IRWD service area. These benefits included an immediate 20 percent reduction in rates, access to additional water supply reliability and redundancy, rapid and substantial emergency response capabilities, extensive equipment, diverse materials and preventative maintenance programs, and enhanced customer service capabilities. The OPAMWC service area has already seen a number of significant water improvements to its water infrastructure which will ultimately bring the system up to contemporary standards, including replacement of the substandard 1929 steel pipe utilized throughout the system. The system improvements were financed by IRWD and OPA rate area customers paid for the improvements through a “water rate differential” which  was the difference between the water rate charged to the former customers of OPAMWC (with the 20 percent rate decrease) and the water rates for IRWD customers.

As of July 1, 2015, the improvements where paid off, and water rates charged to the OPA rate area customers were transitioned to match the rates charged to other IRWD customers.  For more on the OPAMWC history click here

OPA Community Construction Project Updates

OPAMWC Stock Purchase:

As part of consolidation agreement, IRWD agreed to purchase the outstanding shares in the OPAMWC. If you still own stock in the Orange Park Acres Mutual Water Company, you can redeem your stock as stipulated in the consolidation agreement.  For more information please email or Telephone: 949-453-5300.

 2006 - Santiago County Water District

On July 6, 2006 the former Santiago County Water District consolidated with IRWD. At that time, an acquisition balance was established which set SCWDa schedule for the former Santiago service area to be transitioned into financial and operational parity with the remaining IRWD service area.Upon consolidation, IRWD immediately reduced water rates by 20% below the Santiago County Water District water rates, but the reduced rates were still higher than those paid by other customers in the IRWD service area and the difference in rates was applied to pay down the acquisition balance.  The transition of the Santiago Service area to the IRWD service area budget based rate structure took place on July 1, 2010, almost two years ahead of schedule. For about the Santiago County Water District history click here

Santiago Fire - 2007

2001 -  Los Alisos Water District

In September 2000 the Orange County Local Area Formation Commission approved the consolidation between IRWD and the Los Alisos Water District. The two districts were reorganized as IRWD when the consolidation became effective on January 1, 2001. Areas in South Orange County, including the IRWD Los Alisos rate area, rely predominantly on imported water to the region to meet water demand. As much as 94 percent of the potable water supplied in the region is imported water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Only about five percent of the potable water for the Los Alisos rate area comes from local water wells.

Since the consolidation, the rate structure for the Los Alisos rate area has been similar to the IRWD rate structure, but takes into account that this part of the IRWD service area does not have a local groundwater basin and no source of local water. Los Alisos is almost wholly dependent upon more expensive imported water from MWD.

As of July 1, 2017, water rates charged to the customers in the Los Alisos rate area customers were transitioned to match the rates charged to other IRWD customers. This occurred due to a sale of the property surrounding the former Los Alisos Water District headquarters in Lake Forest expected to be completed in late 2017. The development agreement for the property was finalized in July 2008 and IRWD has worked with the City of Lake Forest and project consultants to entitle the property. Revenue realized from the sale helped to equalize the higher cost of imported water and allow the Los Alisos Service Area to have rate parity with IRWD.

For more on the Los Alisos Water District History click here.

2000 - Carpenter Irrigation District

The formative roots of the Carpenter Irrigation District were established during the 1870’s in the El Modena area and the right to use of the water from Santiago Creek. Carpenter Irrigation District later became the Carpenter Water Company. In 1927, the Carpenter Irrigation District was formed as a public agency, principally to issue bonds to pay for a portion of the new Santiago Dam, which was constructed as a joint project by CID, Serrano Irrigation District and the Irvine Company. Santiago Dam and Reservoir later became known as Irvine Lake.

During the 1960’s, agricultural land within CID declined to less than 200 acres. Realizing their diminishing role as a water provider, the CID Board of Directors in 1970 entered into agreement with the Irvine Company to ensure that the obligations to remaining irrigation users would continue to be met. In exchange, the Irvine Company received CID’s share of capacity in Irvine Lake and their share of recreational rights. In 1974, IRWD became the successor to the Irvine Company and its 1970 agreement with CID. In 1988 CID and IRWD adopted an amendment to the 1970 Agreement with CID. In 1998, CID and IRWD adopted an amendment to the 1970 Agreement that provided for the dissolution of CID and the detachment of its few remaining customers with annexation of these areas to IRWD. The two agencies applied to the Orange County Local Area Formation Commission for approval of the proposed reorganization and it became effective December 31, 1998

1997 - Santa Ana Heights Mutual Water Company    

The Santa Ana Heights Water company was incorporated on June 28, 1922 by developer Lon S. McCoy, D. W. Edwards, and E.P. Truitt to provide water service and fire flow protection at cost to shareholders in the new residential subdivisions planned for the Santa Ana Heights tract. The Santa Ana Heights Water Company was the first major municipal water purveyor in the Newport Beach/Costa Mesa area. Its incorporation facilitated the development and prosperous growth of the area long before other neighboring public agencies were organized to provide municipal water service.

For 75 years the Santa Ana Heights Water Company provided efficient, low-cost, and reliable service. However, in 1997, due to rising costs of imported water and lack of potable ground water supplies, the shareholders of the Santa Ana Heights Water Company elected to merge with IRWD.  In 1997 the Santa Ana Heights Water Company was successfully merged with IRWD, which, at the time, provided water service to approximately 150,000 residents including 10,000 residents who resided in the former area of the Santa Ana Heights Water Company.