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July 23, 2024 10:25AM
July 23, 2024 10:25AM
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Proposition 218 Notices

The Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD) is a public agency that provides water and sewer service. Our rates are based on the actual cost to provide water and sewer service to our customers and are based on the expenses included in IRWD’s budget. The IRWD Board of Directors adopted a two-year budget on April 24, 2023. The basis for the proposed rates is detailed in the Cost of Service Study and the draft appendixes and technical memos (which begin on page 159)The proposed rates will be effective June 26, 2023, and implemented beginning July 1, 2023, and July 1, 2024. As proposed, they are expected to increase the average residential bill by 9.9% per year. The increase is due primarily to uncontrollable pass-through cost increases from regional agencies that supply water, regional sewage, or energy services to IRWD, as well as inflation and increases in costs associated with continuing to provide the current high level of water and sewer service our customers expect. Information on how the rates are calculated is shown below. 

A critical IRWD business objective is to keep costs, and therefore rates, as low as possible for our customers. Even with the proposed increase, when compared with other agencies providing similar services in Orange County, IRWD’s rates are consistently among the lowest.

To estimate your bill and learn how saving water helps keep your rates low, residential and landscape customers can use our Rate Calculator. Commercial, industrial, public authority and nonresidential customers, please contact Customer Service at 949-453-5300.

To read the IRWD Cost of Service Study, please click here.

Proposed Rate Changes for FY 2023-24 & FY 2024-25

For specific details on proposed rate changes that apply to you, please read the IRWD Proposition 218 Notice that was mailed to your home or business. The FY 2023/24/25 Operating Budget and FY 2023/24/25 Capital Budget are available by clicking the links.

Proposition 218 Notices for proposed rates beginning July 1, 2023

Please select from the following links to learn about the rate changes that apply to you.

IRWD Proposition 218 Notices

IRWD Residential Customers 
IRWD Residential Newport North Customers 
IRWD Commercial / Industrial / Public Authority / Non-Residential Mixed Use Customers 
IRWD Landscape / Agricultural Customers

Understanding the IRWD budget-based rate structure

IRWD uses a budget-based water rate structure. How much you are charged for the water you use depends on whether you stay within your monthly budget. For residential customers, each residence is assigned a monthly water usage budget based on several factors, including the number of people who live in the home, the square footage of outdoor landscaped area, and the weather. The chart below explains how the rate tiers work for residential and landscape water customers.

Rate Tier chart

Commercial customers are billed based on a similar structure, but with two tiers: Base Rate (0-100%) and Wasteful (101%+).

For specifics on the rate structure for each customer type, see the IRWD Proposition 218 Notices above.

Understanding basic components of your water bill
  • Variable water usage charges: Variable costs — for water you use both indoors and outdoors each month. These charges are based on the cost of local and imported water, and other costs of providing service that vary based on usage. Some customers may also incur a pumping surcharge to cover additional pumping costs to serve their properties.

  • Service charges: Fixed costs — to recover the fixed expenses of operating and maintaining IRWD's infrastructure. There are separate service charges for water and sewer service.  These monthly fixed costs fluctuate depending on the number of days in a billing cycle.

Each tier is assigned a rate based on the actual cost of service, which varies according to the source of water. Each source has a different cost of water service. For example, local groundwater from the Dyer Road Well Field here in Orange County is IRWD's lowest-cost water, while imported water (from out of state or Northern California) is our highest-cost water.

The Low Volume rate tier rewards customers who use the least water, which reduces the need for IRWD to buy water supplies that are more expensive. The Base Rate tier is for customers who stay within their monthly water budget allocation. The Inefficient and Wasteful tiers are for customers who exceed their monthly budget.

Why did the cost of water and sewer service increase? 

The main reasons for the change include uncontrollable cost increases to IRWD attributed to:

• Pass-through charges from Orange County Water District (OCWD) for pumping local groundwater, which is still the lowest-cost water source (15.6% increase in FY 2023-24 and 6.6% increase in FY 2024-25).

• Pass-through charges from Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) for imported water purchased through the regional wholesaler, the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) (7.8% increase in FY 2023-24 and 4.1% increase in FY 2024-25).

• Pass-through charges from Southern California Edison (SCE) for electricity used in IRWD service operations (48.6% increase in FY 2023-24 and 9.1% increase in FY 2024-25).

• Increases in costs associated with continuing to provide the current high level of water service our customers expect, including costs associated with repairs and maintenance related to maintaining the existing infrastructure (9.9% increase in FY 2023-24 and 6.5% increase in FY 2024-25). 

• Inflation.

Updates to budget-based rate structure and rates 

The following sections provide key information on indoor and outdoor water budgets, billing tiers, fixed service charges, pumping surcharges and other technical data. For full details specific to your account type, please view your specific IRWD Proposition 218 Notice. A downloadable copy is available near the top of this page.

Click on the sections below for additional information:

Residential / Landscape / Non-Agricultural customers

Proposed variable water rates per CCF* beginning July 1, 2023 

Service

Low volume tier

Base tier

Inefficient tier

Wasteful tier

Total water source cost

$1.91

$2.44

$3.89

$3.89

Districtwide conservation programs

 

$0.11

$0.11

$0.11

Conservation programs targeted to over-budget customers, urban runoff costs and water banking costs

   

$2.25

$11.49

Rate Stabilization Fund

($0.16)

($0.03)

 

 

Total cost per CCF per tier proposed beginning July 2023

$1.75

$2.52

$6.25

$15.49

Current rates

$1.53

$2.42

$5.15

$14.64

 Change

$0.22

$0.10

$1.10

$0.85

 

Proposed variable water rates per CCF* beginning July 1, 2024

Service

Low volume tier

Base tier

Inefficient tier

Wasteful tier

Total water source cost

$1.99

$2.54

$4.13

$4.15

Districtwide conservation programs

 

$0.11

$0.11

$0.11

Conservation programs targeted to over-budget customers, urban runoff costs and water banking costs

 

 

$2.31

$12.20

Total cost per CCF per tier proposed beginning July 2024

$1.99

$2.65

$6.55

$16.46

Proposed FY 2023-24 rates

$1.75

$2.52

$6.25

$15.49

 Change

$0.24

$0.13

$0.30

$0.97

*1 CCF=748 gallons

 

 Commercial / Industrial / Public Authority / Non-Residential Mixed Use customers

Proposed variable water rates per CCF* beginning July 1, 2023

Service

Base tier

Wasteful tier

Total water source cost

$2.44

$3.89

Districtwide conservation programs

$0.11

$0.11

Conservation programs targeted to over-budget customers, urban runoff costs and water banking costs

 

$11.49

Rate Stabilization Fund

($0.03)

 

Total cost per CCF per tier proposed beginning July 2023

$2.52

$15.49

Current rates

$2.42

$14.64

 Change

$0.10

$0.85

 

Proposed variable water rates per CCF* beginning July 1, 2024 

Service

Base tier

Wasteful tier

Total water source cost

$2.54

$4.15

Districtwide conservation programs

$0.11

$0.11

Conservation programs targeted to over-budget customers, urban runoff costs and water banking costs

 

$12.20

Total cost per CCF per tier proposed beginning July 2024

$2.65

$16.46

Proposed FY 2023-24 rates

$2.52

$15.49

 Change

$0.13

$0.97

*1 CCF=748 gallons

 

• Indoor water budget: 50 gallons per person per day (divided by 748, to convert gallons to CCF). For single-family homes, we assume a default of four people per household. For condominiums, we assume three people per household, and for apartments we assume two people per unit. If your household is larger, you may apply for a variance to increase your water budget.

• Outdoor water budget: Is calculated for your property using actual data from local weather stations. We multiply your irrigated landscape area (in acres) x evapotranspiration x 0.75 ET factor x 36.3 conversion factor to convert acre inches of water to CCF.

budgetcalc

 

Residential customers' outdoor monthly water budget is based on 60% warm-season turf and 40% drought-tolerant landscaping. 

Residential customers with cool-season turf lawns may be over their monthly outdoor water budget. Customers who continue to irrigate nonturf landscape with sprinklers and overhead spray may go over their monthly budget because these systems are less efficient at delivering water to the plants. Drip irrigation is the most efficient form of irrigation for nonturf areas.

Outdoor landscape potable and recycled water monthly budget

Type

Monthly budget basis

Irrigated with potable water

60% warm-season turf + 40% drought-tolerant landscape

Irrigated with recycled water

100% warm-season turf

Average monthly residential water budget for a 30-day billing period

Residence type

Indoor CCF

Average outdoor CCF

Total average monthly budget CCF

Attached home condo

6

1

7

Apartment

4

N/A

4

Single family residence

8

4

12

 All other customers can find outdoor water budget information in the Prop 218 notice above.

The monthly fixed water service charges for the average residential customer will increase from $10.75 to $11.85 beginning July 1, 2023, and from $11.85 to $13.20 beginning July 1, 2024. 

The fixed water service charge is used to pay for operations and maintenance costs, including inevitable infrastructure enhancements and replacements.

The fixed water service charge is based on the meter size which appears on the bill. For a list of proposed changes to the water service charge for all meter sizes, please refer to the IRWD Proposition 218 Notice near the top of this page.

The fixed water service charge is based on a 30-day billing cycle. Billing cycles that are longer or shorter than 30 days will produce service charges that are proportionally larger or smaller.

 

Your meter size and amount appear on your bill. Residential customers who remain in the Low Volume tier for most of the year will have a larger percentage of their bill made up of the fixed charge. Customers who remain in the Low Volume tier for nine months of the prior calendar year will receive a $2.00 credit per month, which will be itemized on each bill. New customers do not receive this credit unless they have been with the District for a full calendar year. 

Residential customers

Fixed monthly sewer service charges are used to pay for operations and maintenance costs associated with providing sewer service, including inevitable sewer infrastructure enhancements and replacements of infrastructure such as pipes, pumping stations, and treatment facilities. Each customer’s use of IRWD sewer service derives from the customer’s use of potable water from IRWD, so each customer is billed in one of three tiers, based on the customer’s lowest three-month potable water usage from the prior calendar year. Until IRWD has a new customer’s full calendar year of usage history, the customer is billed at the middle tier rate.

Proposed changes to fixed monthly sewer service charges for collection and treatment

Usage

Current monthly rates

Proposed rates beginning July 1, 2023

Proposed rates beginning July 1, 2024

Average water usage exceeds 10 CCFs per month

$29.75

$33.24

$36.79

Average water usage falls between 5 and 10 CCFs

$25.50

$28.78

$31.86

Average water usage falls below 5 CCFs

 

$20.45

$23.10

$25.70

Proposed changes to sewer service charges for collection or treatment only

Usage

Current monthly rates

Proposed rates beginning July 1, 2023

Proposed rates beginning July 1, 2024

Collection service charge

$9.25

$10.95

$11.55

Treatment service charge

$16.25

$19.70

$20.50

Note: Until IRWD has a new customer's full calendar year of usage history, the customer is billed at the middle tier rate.

 

Commercial / Industrial / Public Authority / Non-Residential Mixed Use customers

Fixed monthly sewer service charges are used to pay for operations and maintenance costs associated with providing sewer service including inevitable sewer infrastructure enhancements and replacements of infrastructure such as pipes, pumping stations, and treatment facilities. Each customer's use of IRWD sewer service derives from the customer's use of water from IRWD. Additional fixed monthly charges for the operation and maintenance of the system are based on 90% of the volume of water used and treated in excess of 10 CCF per month, because historic use data shows that is the portion sent to IRWD’s sewer system. The proposed fixed and variable monthly charges are presented below.

Proposed changes to fixed monthly sewer service charges for collection and treatment

Usage

Current monthly rates

Proposed rates beginning July 1, 2023

Proposed rates beginning July 1, 2024

Average water usage is less than or equal to 10 CCF per month

$29.75

$33.24

$36.79

Quantity service charge (beyond 10 CCF)

$2.19/CCF

$3.00/CCF

$3.07/CCF

OC San special purpose permit discharge rate (if applicable)

 

Up to $1,601.28 per million gallons

Up to $1,676.09 per million gallons

Up to $1,754.41 per million gallons

Proposed changes for areas receiving collection service or treatment service only

Usage

Current monthly rates

Proposed rates beginning July 1, 2023

Proposed rates beginning July 1, 2024

Collection service charge

$9.25 per unit

$10.95 per unit

$11.55 per unit

Treatment service charge

$16.25 per unit

$19.70 per unit

$20.50 per unit

 

 

A pumping surcharge will be added to the variable water usage charge for customers in locations that cause IRWD to incur additional pumping costs to supply their water. The surcharge is based on the actual prevailing energy costs and varies depending upon the cost to pump water to the area served. If you live in an area affected by a pumping surcharge, the charge is itemized on your monthly bill. IRWD is proposing changes to the pumping surcharge areas.
Proposed maps: potable / non-potable

Proposed changes to pumping surchase - Potable
(Residential and Landscape / Agricultural customers)
VIEW AREA MAP

Component

Current rates per CCF*

Proposed rates per CCF*
beginning July 1, 2023

Proposed rates per CCF*
beginning July 1, 2024

Area 1

$ 0.33

$0.38

$0.41

Area 2

$ 0.46

$0.67

$0.73

Area 3

$ 0.79

$0.90

$0.98

Area 4

N/A

$1.72

$1.88

Proposed changes to pumping surcharge - Recycled
(Commercial / Industrial / Public Authority / Non-Resdiential Mixed Use and Landscape / Agricultural customers)
VIEW AREA MAP

Component

Current rates per CCF*

Proposed rates per CCF*
beginning July 1, 2023

Proposed rates per CCF*
beginning July 1, 2024

Area A

$ 0.14

$0.23

$0.25

Area B

$ 0.25

$0.37

$0.40

Area C

$ 0.47

$0.53

$0.58

 *1 CCF = 748 gallons

 

Billing tiers are based on cost of service and on proportional use.

The number of billing tiers for residential and landscape customers remains unchanged at four, as follows:

  • Tier 1 – Low Volume
  • Tier 2 – Base Rate
  • Tier 3 – Inefficient
  • Tier 4 – Wasteful

The number of billing tiers for commercial customers also remains unchanged at two, as follows:

  • Tier 1 - Base Rate
  • Tier 2 - Wasteful

The billing tiers are based on cost of service and on proportional use. 

Residential and Landscape / Non-Agricultural customers

Summary of proposed residential variable water rates

Tier

Percentage use of monthly water budget for Residential and Landscape / Non-Agricultural customers

Proposed rates per CCF beginning July 1, 2023
(1 CCF = 748 gallons)

Proposed rates per CCF beginning July 1, 2024
(1 CCF = 748 gallons)

Tier 1 Low Volume

0 – 40%

$1.75

$1.99

Tier 2 Base Rate

41 – 100%

$2.52

$2.65

Tier 3 Inefficient

101 – 140%

$6.25

$6.55

Tier 4 Wasteful

141+

$15.49

$16.46

 Landscape / Non-Agricultural customers

Summary of proposed variable recycled water rates

Tier

Percentage use of monthly water budget for Landscape / Non-Agricultural customers

Proposed rates per CCF beginning July 1, 2023
(1 CCF = 748 gallons)

Proposed rates per CCF beginning July 1, 2024
(1 CCF = 748 gallons)

Tier 1 Low Volume

0 – 40%

$1.39

$1.43

Tier 2 Base Rate

41 – 100%

$2.36

$2.47

Tier 3 Inefficient

101 – 140%

$5.25

$5.27

Tier 4 Wasteful

141+

$9.20

$9.27

  

Commercial / Industrial / Public Authority / Non-Residential Mixed Use customers

Summary of proposed potable commercial commodity rates

Tier

Percentage use of monthly water budget

Proposed rates per CCF beginning July 1, 2023
(1 CCF = 748 gallons)

Proposed rates per CCF beginning July 1, 2024
(1 CCF = 748 gallons)

Base Rate

0 – 100%

$2.52

$2.65

Wasteful

101%+

$15.49

$16.46

 

Summary of proposed recycled water commercial commodity rates

Tier

Percentage use of monthly water budget

Proposed rates per CCF beginning July 1, 2023
(1 CCF = 748 gallons)

Proposed rates per CCF beginning July 1, 2024
(1 CCF = 748 gallons)

Base Rate

0 – 100%

$2.36

$2.47

Wasteful

101%+

$9.20

$9.27

For temporary (construction) commodity rates and untreated water commercial commodity rate, please see the Prop 218 notice above.

 

The water budget for landscapes irrigated with potable (drinking) water is based on an 80% irrigation efficiency. This results in an evapotranspiration factor (ET factor) of 0.75. The water budget for recycled water use and for functional turf irrigated with drinking water, such as a sport field is based on 75% irrigation efficiency. This results in a landscape factor of 0.87.

 

IRWD average yearly rate increase history thru 2025

Technical formula for the monthly water budget
Account type Number of residents
(default)
Landscape area (default) Indoor budget
50 gallons per personper day
Outdoor
water budget*LA x ET x ETF
Total monthly
water budget
Attached home condo 3 435 sq. feet # Residents x 50 gpd x days in bill period LA x ET x ETF (0.75) Indoor + outdoor
Apartment 2 N/A # Residents x 50 gpd x days in bill period N/A Indoor
Single family residence 4 1,300 sq. feet # Residents x 50 gpd x days in bill period LA x ET x ETF (0.75) Indoor + outdoor
Irrigation potable N/A Site specific based on irrigated acreage N/A LA x ET x ETF (0.75) Outdoor
Irrigation recycled N/A Site specific based on irrigated acreage N/A LA x ET x ETF (0.87) Outdoor
Functional turf irrigated with potable water N/A Site specific based on irrigated acreage N/A LA x ET x ETF (0.87) Outdoor
Commercial, industrial institutional N/A Site specific based on irrigated acreage Site specific Site specific, based on irrigation needs Site Specific
*the outdoor water budget is multiplied by 36.3 to convert to ccf

 

Definitions:

GPD Gallons per day
CCF 100 cubic feet. 1 ccf = 1 billing unit or 748 gallons
LA Irrigated landscape acreage of the specific property (acres)
ET - evapotranspiration Reference evapotranspiration: The amount of water that evaporates into the air and the amount of water that is transpired through the vegetation. Evapotranspiration values are computed daily from IRWD’s three weather stations for the bill period. This data is provided from IRWD weather stations located in the coastal, central or foothill zones.
ET factor (ETF)
The ET factor adjusts the reference evapotranspiration using a plant factor and irrigation system efficiency. IRWD’s outdoor formula for potable water is based on a landscape that is comprised of 60% grass with an irrigation system efficiency of 75%, and 40% drought tolerant plants with an irrigation system efficiency of 80%. This results in an ETF for potable water of 0.75. For recycled water and functional turf irrigated with potable water, the formula is based on 100% warm season turf and an irrigation system efficiency of 75%. This results in an ETF of 0.87.
Indoor Use Based on the number of people per household for residential accounts. Based on the number of employees and business process water for commercial/industrial accounts
N/A Not applicable

 

The chart below summarizes the assumptions made by IRWD for residential water budgets, depending on the type of residence.  IRWD encourages residential customers who need more water than their basic water budget provides to apply for a variance. Variances are given for additional occupants, special medical needs, and larger landscaped areas, among other things. Variances are effective the date that the request is received by the District and must be renewed annually. You can apply online or download a variance form here.

 

budgetcalc

 

 

IRWD adopted a Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP) in 2021 as part of its Urban Water Management Plan. The WSCP includes requirements to implement locally appropriate water shortage response actions for six standard water shortage levels. Implementation of WSCP rates would require action by the IRWD Board of Directors and separate customer outreach. Currently, IRWD is not projecting any water shortages. For details on the rates proposed as potential response actions please click here.

To use the WSCP budget-based-rate calculator, visit wscprates.IRWD.com.

  

 

 

 

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