Water Rates and Charges
The retail water bill you receive for your home or business reflects a wide range of costs from a number of different sources and agencies. While your bill may include several different services (e.g., drinking water, wastewater, solid waste, electricity), this explanation focuses on just the drinking water rates and charges. The fees reflected on your retail water bill include charges from the service cost incurred by your water provider at both the local/retail regional and wholesale level. The charges for water service may also extend beyond your monthly bill to include ad valorem or parcel (e.g., Mello-Roos) taxes that would be listed on your property tax bill.
The Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) is the wholesale imported water provider for 27 retail water districts and cities (Member Agencies) within Orange County, and provides a wide range of additional services to these Member Agencies including Water Use Efficiency Programs, Water Reliability Planning, Public and Governmental Advocacy, and Emergency Preparedness Response coordination. MWDOC was formed to represent over 70% of the 3.2 million people in Orange County at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Metropolitan). Metropolitan is a regional provider of imported water that conveys and treats potable water from Northern California and the Colorado River. MWDOC passes the costs of Metropolitan regional, imported water, and service through to our Member Agencies. The remainder of Orange County is represented at Metropolitan by the three Cities of Santa Ana, Anaheim and Fullerton (the Three Cities). The local agencies provide the services and system maintenance to move the water from the wholesale system to your home or business. Depending upon your location and water supply, these fees may include the costs of groundwater or reclaimed/recycled water operations.
Therefore, the water bill that you receive represents costs from three levels of water supply and services: Regional Services by Metropolitan, OC Wholesaler Services by MWDOC, and Local Services by your retail water provider.