Understanding Pleasanton's New Water Rates

Dear Pleasanton Residents,

We understand that the recent increase in water rates, effective from March 15th, has raised concerns among many of you. With this in mind, we aim to provide clear and detailed explanations about the reasons and processes behind these changes, and we appreciate your engagement and understanding as we navigate these necessary adjustments.

Background on Water Rate Studies

Our most recent water rate study began this past year (with the previous one conducted in 2020), marking a crucial step in assessing the financial health and sustainability of our water utility services. Cities typically undertake such studies every three to five years. These studies are vital—they help ensure that our water system remains reliable, safe, and capable of meeting the city’s needs now and in the future.

Importance of Water Rate Studies

Water rate studies are essential for several reasons. They help us determine if the rates being charged are sufficient to cover the cost of maintaining and operating a complex water system. These studies take into account current operational expenses and future needs, including the crucial upkeep of aging infrastructure and the planning for inevitable repairs or replacements. Without these studies and subsequent rate adjustments, our utility could struggle to sustain operations or deal with unexpected system failures, potentially leading to much higher costs or emergency situations in the future.

The Process of Determining New Rates

A specialized firm conducts each study, meticulously analyzing the financial requirements to maintain our water system's health and efficiency. However, it's important to note that it is ultimately the City Council that reviews and approves any proposed changes to water and sewer rates. This ensures that the process remains transparent and accountable to you, our residents.

Why Rates Have Increased

The latest study highlighted a pressing concern: although current revenues cover existing operational costs, they do not fully account for the future capital needs essential for the utility’s sustainability. This means that without an adjustment in rates, we would be unable to adequately plan for the replacement or repair of major system components. This adjustment is a proactive measure to secure the long-term reliability and safety of our water supply.

We fully recognize that any increase in rates can be a burden. Please be assured that these decisions are not made lightly, and are intended to avoid more significant, abrupt financial challenges in the future, which could potentially result in even greater rate increases or compromised service reliability.

We thank you for your understanding and patience as we ensure that our community’s water services remain robust and reliable for everyone.

To view the City of Pleasanton’s new water rates ordinance for 2024, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/4te9dnzb


The City of Pleasanton