2012-13 Water Transmission Budget and Water Rates


    In April, 2012 the Sonoma County Water Agency Board of Directors approved the 2012-13 Water Transmission budget that includes a wholesale water rate increase of:

      Santa Rosa Aqueduct Petaluma Aqueduct Sonoma Aqueduct
    Rate Change 5.98% 5.98% 5.26%

    The rates will result in an average cost to households of 80 cents per day or $.002 per gallon.  The total Water Transmission budget is $32 million and includes four major categories: Operations and Maintenance, Biological Opinion and Endangered Species Act compliance, Capital Projects, and Debt Service.


    Wholesale water rates are increasing due to:

    • Decreased 2011 water sales: Approx. 4% percent decrease from the FY 11/12 budget.
    • Regulatory obligations to secure water supply: Costs of implementing projects required in the coming year by the Russian River Biological Opinion. The Biological Opinion is a 15-year recovery plan to implement the mandates of the National Marine Fisheries Service as they relate to threatened and endangered fish in the Russian River and its tributaries. Funding for implementing these projects will be sought from federal and state agencies, including Water Agency water contractors.

    Cutting costs:

    The Water Agency has proactively reduced its operations and maintenance costs by 17.7% over the past five years.  These cost saving efforts include mandatory time off and salary freezes for Water Agency staff, staff reductions, and reduced power costs.

    How rates are set:

    Wholesale water rates are created by using a calculation outlined under a legal binding agreement between the Water Agency and its water contractors. This document, called the Restructured Agreement for Water Supply (Restructured Agreement), requires the Water Agency to set rates based on budgeted operations and maintenance costs and past water sales. The Restructured Agreement also requires the Water Agency to approve its wholesale water rates by April 30.


    2012/13 Water Agency Budget Documents:



    For more information about the budget and rates, please contact:

    Lynne Rosselli, budget manager

    Phone:  707-524-3771

    E-mail:  lrosselli@scwa.ca.gov