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Home / Eastern Municipal Water District

Riverside County water agency proposes 13% rate increases

The Eastern Municipal Water District is considering rate hikes totaling in excess of 13% over the next two years to contend with cost pressures, and the Perris-based agency’s Board of Directors is asking ratepayers to submit their opinions on the proposed increases.

“Our region has experienced inflationary impacts that we have not seen in generations,” EMWD Board President Phil Paule said. “Even with those significant external cost increases that are outside of our control, we have managed to minimize the impacts to customers because of the proactive steps we have taken to reduce costs and secure external funding for capital projects.”

According to the EMWD, the inflationary surge that began in the second half of 2021 has led to “significant cost increases for operations and supplies, such as energy and chemicals.”

The cumulative inflation rate for the Riverside metropolitan area over the last two years is roughly 15%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The EMWD board will hold a public hearing on June 21 to consider consecutive annual rate increases, the first consisting of a 6.5% hike proposed to take effect on Jan. 1, 2024, and the second, a 6.9% hike, proposed to start on Jan. 1, 2025.

The hearing will begin at 9 a.m. in the EMWD Board Room, 2270 Trumble Road in Perris.

“We are proud of our continued efforts to act in the best interest of our ratepayers and to minimize rate increases while still ensuring financial stability for their water district,” Paule said. “We will continue to act in the best interest of our ratepayers in every decision we make.”

He noted that the agency has in recent years adopted “nominal rate increases” as part of contingency planning, while continuing to make sizable investments in infrastructure that has preserved reserves amid the drought that has since receded thanks to the flush winter rains.

“EMWD continues to invest in local water supply projects that provide a cost-effective water supply source when compared to imported water supplies,” according to an agency statement.

Customers who can’t attend the board meeting but want to comment, can send letters regarding the proposed rate hikes to EMWD, Board Secretary, PO Box 8300, Perris, 92572-8300. Online, the agency is at customerservice@emwd.org.

The district encompasses Hemet, Mead Valley, Menifee, Moreno Valley, Perris, San Jacinto, the Temecula Valley and Winchester.

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