2019 Water Rates

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Every five years, the District reviews and evaluates its operations, system requirements and requirements to ensure customer charges reflect current costs. The proposed rate increase is necessary for NID to recover its costs to provide services, maintain its infrastructure, encourage water use efficiency and maintain its long-term fiscal stability.

Public safety and the health of our water system are the highest priorities for NID. The District operates on a promise to provide our customers throughout the foothills of Placer, Nevada and Yuba Counties with a dependable and high-quality supply of drinking and irrigation water.

NID Directors approve lower water rate increases

On April 24, Board of Directors approved a softer water rate schedule than was initially proposed. Rate payers will only see a 5.72 percent increase across the board.

The effective date is July 1, 2019.

In order to keep rates as low as possible for customers and allow the District to be flexible with the drought rate components, the new rates package includes:
•  Instead of five years, the new rates will be enacted over three years
• NID staff will develop a program featuring $500,000 to assist low-income customers
• A drought rate will be included, although it will not be assessed this year
• A July 1 effective date provides a two-month period for customer education of rate changes
• A new Cost of Service Study will be developed to include more detailed analysis of what the costs are to deliver water to raw and treated water customers.

News Summary

Overall, the adopted rates reflect slightly more than a 17 percent increase over the next three years for customers. The original proposed rate change was for an 89 percent increase over five years, which was calculated based on the Cost of Service Study recommendation for customers to meet 77 percent of the cost to deliver water. NID would have subsidized the remaining cost of service from transfers from Hydroelectric Division revenues, non-operating funds and earnings.

During discussion on April 24, NID Directors noted that the lower rate increase requires the District to explore possible cost-saving measures to address the revenue impacts to the 2019 budget. In the coming months Directors will reduce the District’s 2019 budget by 5 percent or more and enact financial efficiency measures, while keeping the reliability, safety, and health of the water delivery system the top priority.

Prop 218 Process – Public Hearing and Public Protest Votes

A public hearing on April 24 followed California’s Prop. 218 requirements, with unlimited public comment and an open, and transparent count of customer protest votes. Thirty-six people spoke during the three-hour meeting followed by a thorough count of customer protest votes. According to Prop 218, if NID received written protests by the majority of customers, it would need to abandon the proposed rate increase. The count, with the assistance of Nevada County employees and overseen by objective observers and news reporters, tallied 4,694 provisional protest votes, which fell short of the 12,500 required to nullify by proposed increase. All protest submissions currently are being validated, and results will be reported after the completion.