Chino Hills to change water rates, allocations for residents

Anthony Saude 

Photo Credit: Roto Rooter Plumbing.
Caption: Residents could see an 8 percent rate increase as early as July 1 if the proposal is approved

Chino Hills – City leaders in Chino Hills are going to propose a plan to allocate water to customers based on their needs. 

The proposal would allow all households a “water budget” – or allocation. Their budget would be based on the number of people living at the location, their daily household usage, the landscaped outdoor area and the weather. Customers would pay a lower rate for water if they stay within budget and they would pay a higher rate for water used if they go over budget. 

The recommendation of the City leaders would be to base the rates we charge our residents and customers on their personal water usage efficiency. The budget-based rates would encourage water usage efficiency while ensuring fiscal stability of the city’s water fund. 

On another note City officials propose an 8 percent rate increase effective July 1, with the option to raise rates up to 8 percent each year through 2022. 

The City Council is expected to consider the new proposal and the increases at a public hearing at 7 p.m. on May 8 at City Hall, 14000 City Center Drive. 

The proposed rate structure would include three tiers. 

Five things to know: 

  • Tier 1 is the indoor allocation based on a household of four and usage of 55 gallons per capita per day. Tier 2 reflects outdoor usage and is based on the property’s landscaped area and weather. Water users who surpass their Tier 2 allocation would jump into Tier 3, which comes with a higher rate.
  • Outdoor allocation, which was determined using aerial photographs and GIS, is based on an irrigated area of about one-third total lot size. The landscaped area is capped at 3,100 square feet.This information will be recorded and analyzed to ensure that the larger landscaped area you might have the larger your outdoor water budget will be.
  • Outdoor water budgets will go up during hotter months and down in cooler months. There would be a rate reduction for residents who switch to drought-tolerant landscaping. That will give an incentive to residents to be intentional about their water usage.
  • If approved, water users would see an 8 percent rate increase July 1. The city would then have the ability to raise rates up to 8 percent on July 1 each year through 2022. The previous water rates covered 2011-16, however,sincecity staff determined the increases in 2015 and 2016 were not needed the proposal will call for a review every year by the council for an increase, a partial increase or no increase at all that year.  
  • The city mailed notices and protest ballots to water customers in March. Water customers opposed to the rate increases can fill out the attached ballot and return it by mail or in person to the Chino Hills City Clerk’s office, 14000 City Center Drive, by the end of the public hearing May 8. Replacement ballots can be picked up at the City Clerk’s office. Only one protest per property will count. The council can approve the increases if they are not protested by a majority of water customers.

For more information on the city’s proposal or to use the budget-based water rate estimator visit www.chinohills.org/waterbudget. 

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