Water Rates Process

Determining Rates & Charges

Water rates cover the cost of providing a reliable supply of high-quality drinking water to the communities of Fremont, Newark and Union City. As a public agency, ACWD cannot take in funds beyond the costs of providing its service. The District periodically conducts an analysis to ensure water rates accurately reflect the cost of water service. The District also uses outside expert consultants to ensure that its rates are properly determined. Following a series of public workshops, the District notifies customers and the public about any proposed rate adjustments through various means:

  • A formal notice of any proposed rate adjustments was mailed to all addresses within the District’s service boundaries. The formal notice contains the details of a public hearing where the revisions are proposed to be adopted by the Board after a formal 45 day public input period. View the formal notice of proposed rate adjustments
  • Postings to the District’s website and social media sites
  • Email notifications to customers who have subscribed to receive board meeting notices
  • Press Releases
  • Printed advertisements in local newspapers.

The District continuously looks for and implements ways to be efficient and control costs. These include managing the District's diverse water supplies to maximize use of lowest-cost water, installing Advanced Metering Infrastructure to improve metering accuracy and provide long-term cost reductions and operational savings, increasing energy efficiency to reduce power costs, lowering costs related to our vehicle fleet by transitioning to a leasing program, and partnering with other agencies to execute joint projects to reduce costs and community impacts. Cost controls have helped keep the District’s water rates consistently in the lower half of 30 Bay Area water agencies. You can view a chart that illustrates ACWD’s current median water bill in comparison to other Bay Area water agencies.

The District also continuously evaluates new revenue sources such as grant funds, and has secured about $20 million in grant funds and reimbursements, primarily for mandated fishery projects in Alameda Creek.

To view the current rates and fees, visit the District's Water Rates page. 

2021 Water Rates Process

December 9th, 2021 Board Meeting

At this Board Meeting, District staff presented proposed charges and water rates based on the discussions that occurred over the series of financial workshops during 2021, including a review of proposed water-related rates and charges, a Cost of Service Study, and a review of Water Shortage Emergency Stage Rates. The Board authorized staff to provide formal notice to the community of proposed rate increases. View the formal rate increase notice. 

January 20th, 2022 Informational Meeting

The District held an informational meeting to discuss proposed rate changes. You may view the recording of the meeting on Youtube by using this link.. You may also review the presentation from the January meeting.

February 10th, 2022 Board Meeting

At this meeting, the Board conducted a public hearing on the proposed increases to water rates, water shortage emergency stage rates, fire service line rates, and the miscellaneous fees and charges, including updates to the facilities connection charges. The Board received public comments, and after deliberation voted to adopt the rate proposal. You may view the meeting on YouTube by using this link. You may also view the presentation from the February meeting.

Financial Workshops

In 2021, the District conducted a series of Financial Workshops. 

May 19, 2021: At this workshop, District staff presented the draft Proposed FY 2021/22 and FY 2022/23 Budget to the Board. The Board reviewed forecast revenue, operating expenses, capital improvement program expenditures, staffing levels and labor-related costs, and financial planning scenarios related to water conservation. View the presentation from the May 19, 2021 workshop.

May 27, 2021: This workshop continued the discussion on the District 2-year budget with the focus primarily on capital expenditures and multi-year financial scenarios, including water rates, related to water conservation. View the presentation from the May 27, 2021 workshop.

August 26, 2021: This workshop focused on the District’s financial status, rate setting requirements including a cost-of-service analysis, the allocation between fixed and variable charges, the charges for dedicated fire service lines, water shortage emergency stage rates, and the use of the property tax roll for billing and collecting on delinquent accounts. View the presentation from the August 26 workshop.

September 23, 2021: This workshop included follow-up from the August 26 workshop, continue the discussion regarding the alternative stage rate scenarios and a cost of service analysis, reinstatement of formal collections activities including use of the property tax roll, and use of property tax roll to collect service charges. View the presentation from the September 23 workshop.

October 28, 2021: This workshop focused on the discussion regarding the revenue allocation between the fixed and variable charges, the approaches to revenue adjustments, as well as a review of related data and policy objective considerations. Following Board deliberation, the Board considered a rate increase based on a 6% revenue increase to the fixed service charge and no change to the commodity charge.

As a separate item, this workshop also discussed the transition from at-large to zone-based elections, which is included in the presentation materials along with the financial presentation. View the presentation from the October 28 workshop. 

Additional Documents

For information on ACWD's rate history, visit the Previous Water Rates Processes page

Contact Information

If you should have any questions or comments about ACWD's rates and charges, please contact us by calling 510.668.4200 or emailing our rates team.