volume 2 - resource management Strategies
Region Northern Coastal San Joaquin Valley Southern
Source: data from Black & Veatch 2006 California Water Rate Survey;
per 1,500 cubic feet
(11,000 gallons) of water
Table 14-6 Monthly water charges in California by
1,500 cubic feet (11,000 gallons) of water a month increased from $30.33 in 2003 to $36.39 in 2006. This is a 16.7 percent increase during the three-year period (Black & Veatch, 2006). The survey also compared the average and range of monthly charges in California by region for 2001, 2003, and 2006, as shown in Table 14-6. This shows that the coastal communities continue to have the highest average residential monthly water charge, while the San Joaquin Valley has consistently had the lowest average residential monthly water charge. The highest percent increase in average residential monthly water charge occurred in the San Joaquin Valley with a 27.5 percent increase.
Table 14-7 shows the actual average annual water bill for water usage by area as a share of median household income for the period of 2004 to 2006 (Public Policy Institute, 2006).
Treatment costs for compliance with the arsenic MCL in California will affect more than one million households in about 275 water systems. The average annualized cost per household to comply with the federal MCL for arsenic in California is estimated to range from $140 to $1,870 depending on the size of the water system (CDPH, 2008b). These treatment costs are in addition to current costs for drinking water.
Up to one-third of the operations and maintenance costs for some water utilities are energy related, including energy used for water treatment and pumping. One factor in water-related energy consumption is the use of new technologies that are more energy intensive than most previous treatment technologies—UV treatment and high pressure membranes for example.
Desalination will play an increasing role in water supply in California, both for brackish groundwater desalination and seawater desalination. Historically, the high cost and energy requirements of desalination had confined its use to places where energy is inexpensive and freshwater scarce. Recent advances in technology, especially improvements in membranes, have made desalination a realistic water supply option. The cost of desalinating seawater is now competitive with other alternatives in some locations and for some high-valued uses. However, although process costs have been reduced due to the newer membranes that allow for lower energy consumption, the
caLifoRnia WateR PLan | update 2009