May 11, 2022
EBMUD receives highest water bond rating
District is California’s only water utility with Moody’s bond rating of Aaa
OAKLAND – Moody’s Investors Service upgraded the East Bay Municipal Utility District’s (EBMUD) water revenue bonds on May 6 to Aaa, the agency’s highest bond rating. EBMUD is the only water utility in California to receive this top assessment. Moody’s recognized that EBMUD has been a leader in ensuring a safe and reliable water supply for its customers while maintaining long-term financial stability, despite the challenges of a statewide drought and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Moody’s report cited several factors in its rating opinion, including:
- “The upgrade of the water revenue bonds from Aa1 to Aaa reflects the district's healthy financial profile that continues to demonstrate resilience through both the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing drought.”
- “The rating reflects strong regulatory compliance, capital planning and ongoing initiatives to diversify water supplies, storage and recycling capabilities, and robust drought contingency planning to ensure that operations and finances remain stable even under severe drought conditions.”
- “Governance considerations are a credit driver and strong management continues to support excellent credit quality with adopted policies and robust multi-year planning contributing to sound and consistent financial performance.”
In addition to recognizing EBMUD’s strong planning and financial performance, the upgraded rating may reduce interest costs when EBMUD issues bonds, which it intends to do this month to fund capital expenses and repay some debt.
“I am thrilled that the work we have done to maintain a resilient water system is reflected in this upgrade,” EBMUD Board President Doug Linney said. “We are committed to EBMUD’s long-term success, and ensuring financial stability is of paramount importance. To be the only water utility in California with an Aaa rating from Moody’s reaffirms the work EBMUD is doing on behalf of ratepayers has been successful.”
EBMUD is one of 10 water utilities in the United States with an Aaa Moody’s rating. Ahead of this month’s planned bond sale, S&P Global Ratings also reaffirmed its AAA rating for EBMUD’s water bonds.
“EBMUD has been providing reliable drinking water for nearly 100 years, and the Moody’s Aaa rating puts us in a strong financial position as we upgrade our system for the next century,” said EBMUD General Manager Clifford Chan. “Moody’s evaluates us based on our financial management, capital planning, water supplies, and responsible use of debt to fund long-term projects. We are committed to responsible stewardship across the organization.”
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.