What gives life, yet asks for nothing in return? What drops down, yet lifts communities up? What is priceless, yet costs just over a penny a gallon? You guessed it – water.
EBMUD is on a mission to provide safe, reliable and affordable water for every customer. Yet, we know that living in the Bay Area is expensive and paying for utility bills can further stress families facing hardship.
At the start of the pandemic, EBMUD knew water was the key to keeping our community healthy. We were among the first agencies in the nation to suspend water shutoffs and restore service for customers, whose water service was shutoff due to non-payment. Additionally, we provided payment plans and waived late fees for those impacted by COVID-19.
For nearly 35 years, our Customer Assistance Program (CAP) has helped reduce the cost for water and wastewater services to those in need. Because of CAP, many more income eligible customers who experienced pandemic-related illness, job loss and reduced income are getting support. Since the pandemic started, CAP enrollment has increased by 30 percent with over 2,300 new participants.
We are also pursuing COVID-19 relief funding from the State to help East Bay customers. EBMUD is also collaborating with the government to rollout a nationwide water and wastewater rate assistance program.
EBMUD’s Manager of Customer and Community Services, Andrew Lee, was recently appointed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to serve as a senior advisor to help implement this federal program. While the funding is a one-time allocation, Lee hopes this effort paves the way for a permanent program.
“COVID-19 highlighted the importance of water to protect our community,” says Lee. “We know the financial struggles are real and we’re using our platform to advocate for the support our customers need.”
To learn about EBMUD’s CAP, contact 1-866-403-2683 or visit ebmud.com/CAP.
The Gift of Water
Consider donating to the Water Lifeline, which helps EBMUD customers facing pandemic-related impacts that may affect their ability to pay their water bill. Funds are coordinated by Richmond Community Foundation, SparkPoint Contra Costa and St. Vincent de Paul Society of Alameda County. Visit ebmud.com/lifeline.
Redistricting Ramps Up - EBMUD is required to adjust ward boundaries every 10 years based on census data. Meetings will be held through spring 2022. Visit EBMUD.com/redistricting.