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Long Beach Water Commission Votes to Keep Citywide Water Rates Flat for Second Consecutive Year
Today, the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners voted unanimously to maintain citywide water rates at their current levels for a second straight year. The Long Beach Water Department’s Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12) budget and rates will now go to the Long Beach City Council for final approval before going into effect on October 1, 2011.

“We are pleased to adopt a new budget that for the second year in a row imposes no increase on the water rates that our customers pay,” said Dr. Suzanne Dallman, President of the Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners. “While the costs of providing water continue to rise each year, one of our primary objectives is to minimize the impact of these cost increases to our customers and we feel that we have achieved that with this year’s adopted budget,” added Dr. Dallman.

With water rates remaining flat for a second year in a row, Long Beach residents will continue to enjoy monthly bills that are among the lowest in California when compared to similar sized cities. According to a May 2011 Rate Study completed by Black & Veatch, in FY12 Long Beach residents will pay the lowest combined monthly water and sewer bills in the group of cities and agencies that were included in the study.

The estimated average monthly water and sewer bill for a typical single-family residence in Long Beach that uses 12 billing units (approximately 9,000 gallons) of water each month will be $64.25.

In FY12 the Water Department must absorb a 7 percent increase in imported water rates and a 19 percent increase in groundwater pumping charges. These costs, both of which are passed on to the Water Department by other water agencies, comprise nearly 26 percent of the Water Department’s total annual expenditures. Keeping rates steady despite a dramatic rise in costs represents a major effort by the Water Department to manage its budget in a way that mitigates the impact of these rising costs on its customers.

”Managing the costs within your control to deal with costs outside of your control is a sound budgeting principle, one that the Water Department practices each year” said Anatole Falagan, Deputy General Manager of Business for the Long Beach Water Department. “We know that costs for importing and pumping water will continue to rise in the future, so we continue to seek efficiencies and reduced costs in other parts of our budget to help with those future increases.”

Long Beach Water is an urban, Southern California retail water supply agency, and the standard in water conservation and environmental stewardship.