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Las Vegas Valley Water District

New water rates in effect

An increase in water rates went into effect Jan. 1, 2014. The new rates were proposed by a SNWA citizens' committee in order to pay for essential water facilities constructed in Southern Nevada over the last several years.

Starting in January, typical customers with 5/8-inch or 3/4-inch meters using 10,000 gallons of water a month can expect to see their monthly bills rise by $1.04 in 2014, eventually increasing to $4.92 in 2017. Nearly 90 percent of residential customers fall within these two meter sizes. Because half of the proposed increase is usage-based, customers who use large amounts of water will see a bigger increase than more conservative water users.

Funds raised from the increase will be used to help repay bond obligations on existing water treatment and distribution systems as well as the third water intake being constructed at Lake Mead. Nearly 70 percent of SNWA’s overall budget is related to such capital construction projects. 

Background

In 2012, the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) formed the Integrated Resource Planning Advisory Committee (IRPAC) to help guide future water resource planning for Southern Nevada.

The advisory committee—whose members were appointed by SNWA's Board of Directors—represents a cross-section of community residents, businesses, chambers of commerce, and educational, environmental and financial sectors. Committee members were tasked with developing recommendations on issues affecting SNWA, including funding.

In September 2013, the committee recommended to the SNWA Board of Directors that water charges be increased to pay for critical water infrastructure in Southern Nevada and these recommendations were approved by the SNWA Board.

On Dec. 3, 2013, the Las Vegas Valley Water District Board of Directors approved the recommendations, which means that starting in January 2014, the commodity and infrastructure charges paid by LVVWD customers to the Southern Nevada Water Authority will increase incrementally over the next several years as outlined in the table below.

IRPAC-recommended rate increases

Fiscal Year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017-2021
Commodity Charge
(per 1,000 Gallons)
$0.30 $0.34 $0.38 $0.44 $0.48
Infrastructure Charge per Meter per Month
Residential- 5/8" & 3/4" meter sizes $5.00 $5.64 $6.36 $7.18 $8.11
Residential- 1" meter size $19.21 $20.42 $21.79 $23.34 $25.10
Residential- 1.5" meter size $38.41 $40.83 $43.56 $46.67 $50.19
Residential- 2" meter size $61.46 $65.34 $69.70 $74.67 $80.31
Residential- 3" meter size $122.90 $130.66 $139.38 $149.32 $160.60
Residential- 4" meter size $192.03 $204.15 $217.79 $233.32 $250.93
Residential- 6" meter size $384.05 $408.29 $435.57 $466.63 $501.85
Residential- 8" meter size and larger $614.47 $653.26 $696.89 $746.59 $802.95
Non-Residential- 5/8" & 3/4" meter sizes $19.05 $19.69 $20.41 $21.23 $22.16
Non-Residential- 1" meter size $36.08 $37.29 $38.66 $40.21 $41.97
Non-Residential- 1.5" meter size $72.16 $74.58 $77.31 $80.42 $83.94
Non-Residential- 2" meter size $115.45 $119.33 $123.69 $128.66 $134.30
Non-Residential- 3" meter size $230.90 $238.66 $247.38 $257.32 $268.60
Non-Residential- 4" meter size $360.79 $372.91 $386.55 $402.08 $419.69
Non-Residential- 6" meter size $721.57 $745.81 $773.09 $804.15 $839.37
Non-Residential- 8" meter size $1,154.50 $1,193.29 $1,236.92 $1,286.62 $1,342.98
Non-Residential- 10" meter size and larger $1,659.59 $1,715.35 $1,778.07 $1,849.51 $1,930.54
Non-Residential- 5/8" & 3/4" meter sizes Fire Meter $3.34 $3.34 $3.34 $3.34 $3.34
Non-Residential- 1" meter sizes Fire Meter $6.32 $6.32 $6.32 $6.32 $6.32
Non-Residential- 1.5" meter sizes Fire Meter $12.63 $12.63 $12.63 $12.63 $12.63
Non-Residential- 2" meter sizes Fire Meter $20.21 $20.21 $20.21 $20.21 $20.21
Non-Residential- 3" meter sizes Fire Meter $40.41 $40.41 $40.41 $40.41 $40.41
Non-Residential- 4" meter sizes Fire Meter $63.14 $63.14 $63.14 $63.14 $63.14
Non-Residential- 6" meter sizes Fire Meter $126.28 $126.28 $126.28 $126.28 $126.28
Non-Residential- 8" meter sizes Fire Meter $202.04 $202.04 $202.04 $202.04 $202.04
Non-Residential- 10" meter sizes Fire Meter $290.43 $290.43 $290.43 $290.43 $290.43

Details about the committee's recommendations

The recommendations of the Integrated Resource Planning Advisory Committee, as approved by the Southern Nevada Water Authority Board of Directors, included the following:

  1. Develop rates through a transparent and inclusive community process.
  2. Retain the existing rates and charges previously adopted by the SNWA Board and its purveyor members, formalizing the fire line meter charge at 17.5 percent of the current Infrastructure Charge.
  3. Cap the Infrastructure Charge on fire line meters at the 2013 dollar amounts.
  4. Increase the Commodity Charge $.18 per 1,000 gallons (from $.30 to $.48) to meet 50 percent of annual revenue requirements in the target year 2017 and increase the Infrastructure Charge to meet the other half of annual revenue requirements, as outlined in Appendices G and H of the IRPAC Recommendations Report.
  5. Temporarily reduce the maximum rate in 2014, 2015 and 2016 to provide the community time to adjust to the new rates.
  6. Separate money added to the New Expansion Debt Service fund and related interest attributed to the 2014 and 2015 phased-in rates from the remainder of the fund balance and use it to only offset forecasted operating deficits in 2016 to 2021 and not for any other purposes.
  7. Allocate Connection Charge revenues in excess of the 2014 base year ($16.1 million) exclusively to pay the following, in order of priority:
    • Early payment or pre-refunding of existing debt or one-time capital expenditures, whichever is most financially efficient, and
    • Water rate reductions.
  8. If funds in excess of the target fund balance remain in the New Expansion Debt Service fund (not including phased-in rate revenue), use the excess fund balance only for any of the following purposes:
    • To redeem outstanding bonds (thereby reducing outstanding debt and future debt service requirements) or to acquire capital assets that would otherwise need to be funded with borrowed money (thus avoiding additional debt and debt service), whichever is most financially efficient;
    • To moderate further the impact of future rate increases; or
    • To reduce water rates.
  9. Encourage the Las Vegas Valley Water District and the cities of Henderson and North Las Vegas to assess the rates and charges approved by the SNWA Board.

The complete list of recommendations, as well as details about the committee’s evaluation process, are contained in the IRPAC Recommendations Report.

Additional information about the rate increase is included in the SNWA Rate Increase Summary document.