Santa Fe Irrigation freezes water rate increases


Santa Fe Irrigation District customers will experience no water rate increases in 2021.


Back in January, the SFID board had approved 3% water rate increases for the next three years—the first bills with the new five-tier residential rate structure went out in April. However, this year the board and staff worked to identify resources that can be utilized to maintain the current rates. According to a news release, the board’s Nov. 20 decision to freeze water rate increases is due to the solid financial position the district is in and based on the impacts the pandemic continues to have on the region and customers.

“2020 has been a unique and challenging year for our customers and community, and the district has implemented sound financial policies in order to reduce impacts to our customers during such situations,” said SFID Board President Michael Hogan in the news release. “The well-being of our customers is important to the district and we continue to evaluate policies and initiatives to control costs while providing safe and reliable water service.”

On Nov. 20, the board approved not implementing the scheduled 3% in January 2021 by using available district reserves to absorb a 4.8% wholesale water increase from the San Diego County Water Authority. The utilized reserves are from last year’s water from Lake Hodges, a local supply that has allowed the district to reduce imported water purchases. The district’s additional budgetary savings include not filling a vacant position, grant revenues for capital projects and other cost-cutting measures.

The district provides drinking and irrigation water to about 20,000 residents in Rancho Santa Fe, Solana Beach and Fairbanks Ranch.