Paying for drought


After four years of drought, EBMUD made up for shortages last year by purchasing 19 billion gallons of water, or about a four-month supply of water, from the Sacramento River.

This emergency water traveled to local reservoirs via the Freeport Regional Water Facility, which EBMUD completed in 2011 precisely for crises such as this severe drought.

During a drought, water is scarce and EBMUD must both purchase additional water supplies and increase operating costs.

In 2015, the Board of Directors adopted a four-stage system of drought rates including temporary surcharges and declared a Stage 4 drought emergency. The Stage 4 drought surcharge for the average EBMUD household that normally uses about 7,500 gallons per month is $8.08 each month in addition to their normal usage charges.

Although rain has been strong this winter, we continue to plan for another dry year.

EBMUD is continuing to monitor our water supply outlook and conditions statewide. In May, the Board of Directors will evaluate EBMUD’s drought status, conservation levels, water restrictions and other measures.

Visit to get the latest drought news.