Understanding Your Bill

Understanding Your Bill

IRWD customer bills are calculated using IRWD's Budget Based Rate Structure. This rate structure provides you with the water you need and promotes water conservation and efficient use of water. If you are lucky enough to be an IRWD customer, you enjoy some of the lowest water rates in Orange County!  

Basic Components of Your Bill

  1. Cost of Water: often called a 'commodity rate', this is the charge for the actual amount of water you use. The per unit charge, or ccf, is based on the costs incurred by IRWD to purchase locally produced ground water and, when necessary, more expensive imported water.
  2. Service Charge: the fixed costs of maintaining the water distribution system (pipes, treatment plants, etc.)

Bill Format

  1. For an example of an IRWD bill with helpful explanations, see this document.
  2. Water bill format changes: FAQ

How Your Bill is Calculated

IRWD Customers with an account number, use
this easy calculator to see your bill


If you don't know your account number or you just want to see how the IRWD Budget Based Rate Structure works, try out this user friendly calculator.

What Determines Your Cost of Water

Each customer receives a basic water budget that provides a reasonable amount of water for your needs and property characteristics, including the number of occupants, lot size, size of irrigated area, climate, etc. How your cost of water is calculated is based upon how much water you use (measured by reading your meter) and whether or not you stayed within your budget. During the month, if you use more water than your budget, your cost of water will increase due to the need for IRWD to purchase more expensive sources of water, such as imported water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Service Charges & Infrastructure Costs: Fair Cost Allocation

To ensure equity among our customers, we separate the cost of building water and sewer infrastructure from the cost of daily operations and maintenance. Infrastructure costs, called capital projects, are financed through general obligation bonds, the debt service for these is paid through a combination of property taxes and connection fees. Daily operation and maintenance costs, which are further separated between the water and sewer systems, are funded through monthly user service charges. The basic principle behind these precise allocations of cost is that each end-user pays his fair share, no more and no less.

Details and Links

For an at-a-glance view of IRWD rates, including details for non-residential customers, explore the links on our Rates & Charges page. Complete water rate information is available in the IRWD Rates and Charges document, adopted by the IRWD Board on June 25, 2018.

Stay Up to Date with IRWD eNotify!

Because we want to make sure that you always have the latest information, you can either

1. Check the website often for an updated version OR
2. Sign up for IRWD e Notify

IRWD eNotify will allow you to get information sent to you directly as we publish it. To sign up, please check the items you'd like to get notifications for and then enter your e-mail address, and a password to manage your notification settings. You'll receive periodic email notices from IRWD for your chosen items. 


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