Financing the ongoing operation and maintenance of a water system is an important focus for any water provider. It is how we can replace pipes, secure reliable water supplies and continue to provide service to our customers 24/7. The Public Policy Institute of California recently prepared two briefs discussing just that.
In the first report, the PPIC explains how customers of local utilities, like Helix Water District, provide 84 percent – or the majority – of the funding for water infrastructure. We get a lot done locally in collaboration with our wholesaler, the San Diego County Water Authority. Your water bills pay for projects that protect the health, quality and quantity of our water supplies. And, we do it without much assistance from the state or federal government.
The second report by the PPIC looks at the factors increasing local water costs, what they mean for water affordability and how they impact low-income residents.
“To cover rising costs, water bills have been rising faster than inflation in many parts of California. Investments to replace aging infrastructure, meet new treatment standards, diversify supplies, and maintain a well-trained workforce will continue to raise costs.”
Affordability is important to us at Helix, and we have already taken many of the recommended steps the PPIC provides, like using non-rate revenue to fund the district’s first ever customer financial assistance program and having an affordable rate design.