Approved Increases in Municipal Water Rates
On February 15, 2011, the Torrance City Council conducted a Public Hearing and approved a plan to increase Torrance Municipal water rates over the five year period of 2011 through 2015 (click here for Council item). The increase only applies to the area of the city served by Torrance Municipal Water (TMW). The initial adjustment became effective March 1, 2011, with subsequent adjustments to become effective on January 1st of 2012 through 2015. The increases are necessary to provide for water system infrastructure replacement, meet current and future regulatory requirements and to fund the development of additional local water resources. The new local water resources will significantly diversify TMW's water supply mix, which is currently reliant on costly imported water purchases. The additional local water resources will enhance the community's supply reliability, and substantially lower water costs to stabilize rates in the future (click here for Council presentation).
There has not been an increase to internal TMW water rates in over 15 years. The only increases have been pass through adjustments to offset for higher wholesale water costs. The internal TMW increases are 6.5% in both 2011 and 2012, with subsequent increases in 2013, 2014 and 2015 corresponding to the annual changes in the Consumer Price Index for the Los Angeles/Riverside/Orange County area. Rates will also continue to be adjusted by a revised pass through mechanism to recover higher wholesale water costs (Click here for Rate Resolution).
The rate structure has been revised from a uniform quantity (commodity) charge to a conservation based tiered structure for all standard accounts. Similar conservation tiered rates are in effect in most urban water agencies in California to promote ongoing conservation and meet State mandated usage reduction targets. Under the conservation tiered rate structure there are three rate schedules as follows: Single Family Residential, Low Income and Disabled, and Other Standard Customers (click here for rate schedules).
The fixed meter charge (readiness- to-serve) rate component based on meter size and the private fire protection charges has also been revised. With the exception of the ¾ inch domestic meter, all meter and fire protection charges have been reduced to reflect cost of service considerations.
Even with the increases Torrance Municipal water rate are expected to remain among the lowest in the area.
Notification of Proposed Water Rate Increase
On December 14, 2010, the City Council approved setting a Public Hearing on February 15, 2011, regarding a proposed series of water rate increases over the next five year period of 2011 through 2015.The proposed increases are needed to fund water system infrastructure replacements, implement regulatory mandates and develop additional lower-cost local water resources to replace more expensive imported water supplies. Diversification of supply sources will stabilize long-term water rates and improve the reliability of the community's water supply.
The rate proposal (click here for presentation) applies only to the area within the City served by Torrance Municipal Water (TMW). Notices of the Public Hearing regarding the proposed increases in Torrance Municipal Water rates are being mailed to all TMW customer accounts (click here for Public Notice).
The last internal increase to municipal water rates was over 15 years ago. Since then, the only increases have been automatic pass through adjustments to compensate for higher wholesale water costs. The proposed annual increases to internal TMW water rates are: 6.5% in 2011 and 2012, with subsequent annual internal increases in 2013, 2014 and 2015 corresponding to the change in the Consumer Price Index for the Los Angles/Riverside/Orange County area. Rates will also continue to be to be adjusted by a pass through mechanism to recover higher wholesale water costs. The pass through method will be revised in accordance with a water rate model.
To meet State mandated water usage reduction targets in urban areas, the current rate structure will be converted to conservation-based tiered schedule to encourage conservation. Your actual bill will vary with your usage.
Click here for frequently asked questions regarding your water rates.
For more information and water-saving tips that can reduce your water usage and bill, go to "Be Water Wise.com."