Tri-Valley residents will continue to see a temporary drought surcharge on their water bills as Zone 7 Water Agency's Board of Directors has approved the extension of the $0.57 per 100 cubic feet of water fee for another year.
In a statement following the Oct. 19 board meeting, the agency said it was necessary to continue the surcharge to make up for lost revenue due to lower water use resulting from mandatory conservation during the drought. Water sales for fiscal year 2015-16 were projected at 28,380 acre-feet of water, but only 23,648 acre-feet were actually sold, according to a board memo.
The surcharge was approved last year along with a three-year rate schedule crafted with the help of consultants hired to analyze Zone 7's cost of service.
Those same consultants were recently brought back to revisit restructuring rates to include a fixed component and to determine whether the drought surcharge should be continued.
That fixed charge for retailers and direct customers was also approved for the next two calendar years and varies per entity. The city of Pleasanton, which purchases water wholesale from Zone 7, would see a fixed charge of about $4.5 million for 2017, according to Zone 7.
Zone 7 staff said the fixed charge would allow them to no longer be wholly reliant on water use for its revenue and added in its statement that this move is unlikely to impact individual residential or commercial customers.
For more information on 2017 rates, visit zone7water.com.