In 2014, the Santa Fe Irrigation District (SFID) contracted with Raftelis Financial Consultants (RFC) to provide a Water Rate Study and a 10-year financial plan for the water district which includes Rancho Santa Fe and Solana Beach.
The report states:
“Historically, the District has used approximately 30% local water and 70% imported water for potable deliveries; however, the drought has limited the amount of water available from Lake Hodges in recent years. The District’s current water supply scenario is driven by the limited water resources, regional drought conditions, rapidly increasing costs of imported water, and the volatility of local water supply.”
According to the newly released report, the goals of the SFID are to establish fair rates that:
Meet fiscal needs in terms of operational expenses, reserve goals and capital investment to maintain the system;
Are fair and equitable and therefore proportionately allocate the costs of providing service in accordance with the California Constitution;
Result in stable charges over time; and
Promote water conservation.
As a result of the 36 percent state-mandated water use cutbacks, SFID customers are buying less water which results in lower water sales and revenue for the District.
Of note, the 9% rate increases over the next three years do not take into account projected rate increases imposed on the SFID by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) or the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA).
The District indirectly purchases water from the MWD through the SDCWA. So, if either of these two organizations increase their rates, then the 9% increase for SFID customers might actually be higher than just 9% in 2017 and 2018.