Financial stewardship

Innovating with your dollars

Every day, EBMUD uses your dollars to reinvest in the water and wastewater systems that serve the East Bay. We use your money to make smart, sustainable investments for you and future generations. We find ways to save energy and money, reduce greenhouse gasses and ensure our skilled workforce remains safe and on the job. Just as you stretch your dollars at home, we work hard to make every dollar work for you.

Green bonds and bond issuances

EBMUD watches our finances, just like you do at home. This June we will issue approximately $500 million in water and wastewater bonds to take advantage of low interest rates. These bonds will refinance some existing debt that is at a higher interest rate and will provide new funds for the infrastructure work planned for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. Similar to refinancing a home mortgage, EBMUD is refinancing to save money.

TIMING COUNTS: Issuing these bonds in June 2017 versus earlier in the fiscal year saves $4.5 million in interest this year.

BUNDLING MAKES A DIFFERENCE: By timing the sale of two fiscal years' worth of funding into one issuance, we save $700,000 in bond sale preparation costs.

GREEN BONDS: Green bonds finance 'green' infrastructure and offer a method to invest in sustainable infrastructure. Since 2015, EBMUD has followed adopted guidelines in issuing green bonds. The June 2017 bond issuance will include approximately $209 million in green projects including pipeline infrastructure renewal, treatment plant upgrades, pumping plant and reservoir rehabilitation, seismic upgrades of dams and pressure zone improvements.

Infrastructure innovation


In Berkeley, we saved almost ten times as much time and money while reducing community impacts by helicoptering pipes to the top of Panoramic Hill. This method of pipe delivery was a first for EBMUD. 
Watch the video here.

The $20,000 helicopter contract enabled EBMUD to deliver 2,500 feet of high-density polyethylene pipe in just four hours to replace cast iron pipe for the Panoramic Hill Improvement Project.

Helicopter delivery eliminated the need to cut the pipe into short segments that could be trucked up the hill, reduced the labor that would otherwise have been needed to weld those segments back together, and reduced the time in public streets and related impacts to neighbors by as much as a month. This innovative, safe and eco-friendly delivery cost just $8 per foot of pipe. EBMUD also is considering newer and stronger pipes to put in the ground to carry water reliably to the communities we serve.

Learn more about the EBMUD Pipeline Rebuild program, a new way of replacing old pipes.

Watershed protection

Carr-Ranch-1-250px.jpgEBMUD created an innovative plan to fund the $4.5 million purchase of the Carr Ranch property in Lamorinda by designating 430 acres of District-owned land near Pinole as a conservation bank. By managing the conservation bank land to protect two threatened species - the California red-legged frog and the Alameda whipsnake - EBMUD can sell conservation credits to utilities or public agencies that are required to offset the environmental impacts from their projects. The revenues from the conservation bank are expected to exceed $9 million - double the purchase price of Carr Ranch. Together, the two properties preserve more than 1,000 acres of pristine watershed land forever.

Learn more about EBMUD's sustainability practices.

Energy generation

Solar-Panels-7647-250px.jpgEBMUD's Wastewater Treatment Plant at the base of the Bay Bridge was the first in North America to produce more renewable energy onsite than is needed to run the facility. Last year, EBMUD's plant generated 135% of the plant's energy needs through our industry-leading approach to extracting energy from waste. We sold the excess energy for $1.2 million.

At Pardee and Camanche Reservoirs, EBMUD generated more than 120,000-megawatt hours of clean hydropower, which we sold for $4.3 million. And we're generating more than 1,800 megawatt hours of photovoltaic power a year. Investments in solar installations could add up to 7 megawatts in the next few years.

EBMUD continues to improve energy efficiency in our water and wastewater operations. Learn more about Resource Recovery at EBMUD's Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Looking ahead

Calculator-1463124-250px.jpgWe'll explore more ways to maximize preservation of our watershed lands, and we'll improve salmon populations while preserving our high quality water for drinking. By recovering energy from wastewater, we gain revenue and maximize the efficiency of our wastewater plant.

More upgrades and continued maintenance of pipes, facilities, and treatment plants prepare us for earthquakes and reduce expensive emergency repairs. We continue to evaluate new work methods and materials to reduce impacts to the environment and the communities we work in.

We've saved your money for a not-so-rainy day. EBMUD's $95 million drought savings account to offset the costs of drought.

Finally, like paying off a mortgage, EBMUD aims to never over borrow. We lock in low interest rates and keep our bond ratings high.