Prop 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 developed during the budget process. The proposed rates for FY 2019-20 and FY 2020-21 are expected to increase the average residential bill by 2.6% in each fiscal year (FY). See below for how the rates are calculated. A critical IRWD business objective is to keep costs, and therefore rates, as low as possible for our customers. When compared with other agencies providing similar services in Orange County, IRWD’s rates are consistently among the lowest.

New This Year:  A Two-Year Budget Cycle

New this year is the kickoff of a two-year (biennial) budget cycle which will result in the adoption of rates for FY 2019-20 and FY 2020-21.  The adoption of a two-year budget is intended to improve IRWD's long term planning, enhance funding stability and to create greater efficiency in the budgeting process.  The proposed rates will become effective on July 1, 2019, and July 1, 2020, respectively.

Proposed Rate Changes for FY 2019-20 & FY 2020-21

For specific details on proposed rate changes that apply to you, please read the Proposition 218 notice that was mailed to your home or business. You can also select from the links below. The FY 2019-20 & FY 2020-21 Operating Budget and FY 2019-20 & FY 2020-21 Capital budget are available by clicking the links.

FY 2019-20 Proposition 218 Notices

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

IRWD Proposition 218 Notices FY 2019-20

IRWD Residential Customers 
IRWD Residential Newport North Customers 
IRWD Commercial Customers 
IRWD Landscape Customers 

Estimate Your Water Budget and Bill - Use This Easy Calculator
Bill Calculator for FY 2019-20
Bill Calculator for FY 2020-21

The bill calculators can be used to estimate your FY 2019-20 and 2019-21 bill for any month of the year. Please note the calculator is only an estimate and may not reflect other factors which could affect your monthly bill, such as variances, credits or other adjustments. If you have any questions about the calculator or your bill, please contact customer service at customerservice@irwd.com or 949-453-5300.

 
Understanding the IRWD Budget Based Rate Structure

IRWD uses a budget-based rate structure to encourage our customers to use water wisely.  Each residence is assigned a monthly water budget, which is based on several factors, including the number of residents in the home, the square footage of outdoor landscaped area and the weather.  How much you are charged for the water you use depends on whether you stay within your monthly budget.  The chart below explains how the rate tiers work. For specifics on all customer types see the Proposition 218 notices above.

Rate Tier chart
Understanding Basic Components of your Residential Water Bill
  • Water Usage Charges: Variable costs are for the amount of water you use both inside and outside the home each month.  They are based on the cost of local and imported water as well as other costs of providing service that vary each month.

  • Service Charges:  Fixed costs 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.

The following charts shows how the water supplies are proposed to be allocated between rate tiers for the next two fiscal years.

Water Source by Tier for FY 2019-20

Low Volume Tier

Base Tier

Inefficient Tier

Wasteful Tier

Lowest Cost of Water

Melded Cost of Water

Blended Cost of Baker & Potable Imported Water

Loaded Cost of Imported Water

Dyer Road Well Field

100%

27%

Deep Aquifer Treatment System

27%

Irvine Desalter Project

16%

Wells 21 & 22

7%

Orange Park Acres

0%

Baker Water Treatment Plant

23%

14%

Imported Water from Metropolitan Water District( MWD)

86%

100%

Costs of Service for FY 2019-20

Low Volume Tier

Base Tier

Inefficient Tier

Wasteful Tier

Total Water Source Cost

$1.47

$1.97

$3.06

$3.17

District Wide Conservation

 

$0.03

$0.03

$0.03

Water Banking

$1.87

Conservation Targeted to Over Budget Customers and Natural Treatment System Costs

$1.77

$8.56

Total Cost Per Tier Proposed FY 2018-19

$1.47

$2.00

$4.86

$13.63

FY 2018-19 Rates by Tier

$1.40

$1.89

$4.73

$13.35

Rate change Per Rate Tier for FY 2019-20

$0.07

$0.11

$0.13

$0.28

Water Source by Tier for FY 2020-21

Low Volume Tier

Base Tier

Inefficient Tier

Wasteful Tier

Lowest Cost of Water

Melded Cost of Water

Blended Cost of Baker & Potable Imported Water

Loaded Cost of Imported Water

Dyer Road Well Field

100%

25%

Deep Aquifer Treatment System

26%

Irvine Desalter Project

15%

Wells 21 & 22

7%

Orange Park Acres

0%

Baker Water Treatment Plant

24%

 

Imported Water from Metropolitan Water District( MWD)

 3%

100%

100%

Costs of Service for FY 2020-21

Low Volume Tier

Base Tier

Inefficient Tier

Wasteful Tier

Total Water Source Cost

$1.54

$2.09

$3.18

$3.18

District Wide Conservation

 

$0.03

$0.03

$0.03

Water Banking

$1.79

Conservation Targeted to Over Budget Customers and Natural Treatment System Costs

$1.70

$8.65

Total Cost Per Tier Proposed FY 2020-21

$1.54

$2.12

$4.91

$13.63

FY 2019-20 Rates by Tier (previous year)

$1.47

$2.00

$4.86

$13.63

Rate Change Per Rate Tier for FY 2019-20

$0.07

$0.12

$0.05

$0.02

Why Did the Cost of Water Service Increase? 

Uncontrollable costs of service are the major factors why rates have increased including: 1) Increases in pass-through costs from the Orange County Water District (5.0% increase each year) for pumping groundwater, our lowest cost of source water; 2) Increases in pass through charges from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for imported water, our most expensive source of water, purchased through the regional water wholesaler, the Municipal Water District of Orange County (3.0% increase each year), and 3) Pass-through charges from Southern California Edison (SCE) for electricity (4.5% increase in FY 2010-21).

Why are Rates in the Low Volume/Base Rate Tiers Increasing?

While local groundwater pumped by IRWD continues to be our lowest cost water, sometimes IRWD is assessed costs that are out of our control.  For example,  Orange County Water District, the agency that manages the groundwater basin, has increased associated fees (5.0%) for pumping this water out of the groundwater basin.  IRWD has no choice but to pay these fees.  The net effect is that our Low Volume and Base Rate tier customers will see an increase. However, even with these increases, water from the Dyer Road Well Field is still our lowest-cost water.  At IRWD we are firm in our commitment to continue to reward our best customers - those who stay within their water budget - with our lowest rates.

Updates to Budget Based Rate Structure and Rates 

The following sections provides key information on FY 2019-20 & FY 2020-21 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 Proposition 218 Notice. A downloadable copy is available at the top of this page.

 Click on the sections below for additional information:

  

 

 

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