On Tuesday, December 17, 2019, at 3:00 pm, North City Water District’s Board of Commissioners will be meeting to discuss proposed new water utility rates for 2020.
The City of Seattle owns and operates two watersheds—Cedar River and Tolt—which serve as the source of water for much of our region. North City Water District is one of 16 utility purveyors that purchases this water from the City of Seattle, representing approximately 20% of our overall operating budget.
In 2017, we and the 15 other purveyors worked for over 6 months with Seattle Public Utilities on their wholesale water rate study to determine reasonable cost increases, which would be implemented over a 3-year period beginning in 2018. The final agreed-upon increase was 16.5%—depending on the quantity of water used, and the time of year it was sourced—spread out over three years.
Despite this steady increase in the cost of our water, North City Water District was able to avoid a rate increase in 2018. In 2019, we were required to raise rates 4% across the board.
This year, after two years of working on our Water System Plan, along with a subsequent and comprehensive Cost of Service Study, we have identified that our overall operating budget needs to increase by another 4%.
However, we uncovered an interesting fact while doing the Cost of Service Study: our operational costs have shifted over time, in relationship to recent growth, as well as increased water conservation efforts.
Rates that Reflect Water Conservation
Because many of our customers are conserving water now, our Board of Commissioners wanted to recognize this with a new fourth rate tier for single family residences, which will collect revenues based on their water usage habits.
The new proposed rates for 2020 can be found here* and will be discussed at our Board of Commissioners meeting, which is open to the public, on December 17, 2019 @ 3:00 p.m. in our main conference room at 1519 NE 177th Street, Shoreline, WA 98155.
RCW 57.08.005(11) authorizes North City Water District to fix rates and charges. If you would like to see more about our Budget or Cost of Service Study, click here, and/or fee free to call our office if you have questions at 206.362.8100.
*This link will open up a PDF document created with Adobe® Acrobat®. Most newer web browsers already contain the software to view and download this, however if you need it, click here to download it for free.