Oakland, June 13, 2023
EBMUD adopts new budget and rates to accelerate water and wastewater infrastructure investments
$2.7 billion two-year budget will support community, environment, economy
OAKLAND – Today the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) Board of Directors adopted new service rates and charges to help fund critical investments in essential water and wastewater infrastructure. The rates, which will apply to customer bills over the next two fiscal years, will support a $2.7 billion, two-year budget and the start of a $2.8 billion, five-year capital improvement program to build resilient infrastructure of the future. The Board voted 6-1 to adopt the new rates and approved the budget unanimously with a 7-0 vote.
EBMUD’s rate increases will result in average single-family customer water bill increases of 19 cents a day when new rates take effect July 1 and another 21 cents a day beginning July 1, 2024. Rates for wastewater customers, who largely reside west of the Berkeley-Oakland hills, will rise 7 cents a day in fiscal year 2024 and another 7 cents a day in fiscal year 2025. These represent annual increases of approximately 8.5 percent in both FY 2024 and FY 2025. Actual changes in a customer’s bill would depend on how much water is used each billing period.
EBMUD is a not-for-profit public utility, and customers’ rate dollars directly fund operations and capital improvements. Any additional revenue is reinvested in the system.
“Today’s decision reaffirms EBMUD’s commitment to our community’s essential water and wastewater infrastructure,” said EBMUD Board President Andy Katz. “As EBMUD commemorates 100 years of high-quality water service to the East Bay, we recognize that we must build on the investments of the past while utilizing new technologies to ensure our region’s people, environment and economy can thrive for another century and beyond.”
As EBMUD begins its second century of service, it faces numerous challenges. Aging infrastructure needs continued maintenance and replacement. Climate change is driving bigger swings between severe droughts and intense storms. Water and wastewater systems must deal with emerging contaminants. And wastewater treatment must reduce stormwater infiltration and limit the discharge of nutrients to better protect the San Francisco Bay.
To meet these challenges, EBMUD is entering the most capital-intensive period in its history. Today’s Board actions, recommended by General Manager Clifford Chan, will help fund $2.8 billion in capital improvements over the next five years, including:
· Substantial upgrades of water treatment plants
· Replacement and rehabilitation of aging pipelines and sewage collection systems
· Rebuilding neighborhood reservoirs
· Modernizing wastewater facilities
As EBMUD takes on these important infrastructure investments, the utility, like many others, is also confronting inflationary cost pressures on equipment, chemicals, energy and labor.
“These new rates are necessary for EBMUD to build and maintain resilient and reliable water and wastewater systems,” Chan said. “EBMUD’s investments are vital for public health and essential to support the community and a strong local economy as well as to protect the environment.”
EBMUD is proud that the East Bay’s high-quality drinking water remains a great value at a little over a penny a gallon. For those who have trouble paying their water bills, the utility is making its industry leading Customer Assistance Program easier to access. Information is available at ebmud.com/assistance.
Today’s Board action is the final step in an approval process that began months ago and has included Board workshops, public notices, dissemination of printed and online resources, community presentations, media outreach, and a public hearing. More information about EBMUD’s budget and rates can be found at ebmud.com/rates.
The East Bay Municipal Utility District has a proud history of providing high-quality drinking water for 1.4 million customers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. EBMUD’s wastewater system serves 740,000 customers and helps protect the ecosystem of San Francisco Bay. EBMUD is a not-for-profit public agency established in 1923.