How Rates Are Set
Our water district is unusual in that VOMWD customers bear the entire financial cost through water rate charges of all the steps involved in providing drinking water. These include the cost of, importing, producing, treating and storing water, and distributing it over 92 miles of pipeline. There are also other substantial capital costs of the physical plant facilities, like pumping stations and storage tanks. Many other water providers obtain their water from state or federally subsidized sources, or they share water supply and related costs with neighboring water agencies.
Similarly, many other water providers are funded at least partially through property taxes or other sources. We are funded entirely from the sale of water, which provides 100 percent of our revenue.
Your bimonthly bill includes both a service charge and a quantity (volume) charge, reflecting both fixed costs and costs based on the amount of water you use.
The service charge, based on meter size, covers the fixed cost associated with meter reading and billing, customer service, meter replacement and repair, and a portion of the costs for maintaining your water system.
The quantity (volume) charge includes the cost of water supply, treatment and distribution. A system of three billing tiers is used to charge for the units of water you use, based on usage levels. Not only does our tiered rate structure reflect the cost of our supply, it also encourages water conservation, which is important because our region’s water supply is limited. Our rates are very comparable to other Northern California retail water agencies.