What do you mean by “Water Availability”?
Water Availability indicates the District’s obligation and responsibility to provide adequate water of the highest quality possible for all of the District’s customers. This means now and anytime in the future, whenever a customer requests water service. Sometimes just growing families will double water demands.
What are Water Availability Charges?
Water Availability Charges are authorized under the State Uniform Standby Charge Procedures Act.
The Water Availability Charges will be imposed on each non-exempt parcel of land within the District’s boundaries.
The District’s Water Availability Charges are used to pay long-term indebtedness incurred by the District for the purpose of ensuring an adequate supply of water.
Historically, the District obtained its water supplies form its groundwater basins; however, the amount of groundwater pumped exceeded the amount of replenishment, mostly from rainfall. In anticipation of the need for a supplemental source of water, the Districts voters approved in 1963, joining the State Aqueduct Project to bring water from Northern California to Hesperia. In 1990, the voters also approved a $70 million bond issue to construct the 71 – mile long Morongo Basin Pipeline plus 4 miles to the Joshua Tree turnout, in order to bring State Project Water to the District.
The District is responsible for paying a portion of the debt service on the bond measure, and Water Availability Charges are utilized for that purpose.
The amount, or rate, of the Charge and the methodology by which it is calculated is adopted each year by the Board and has remained unchanged since.
The total number of parcels within the District boundaries subject to the Water Availability charge is approximately 11,782, with a total adopted Water Availability charge of approximately $1,163,600.
How are Water Availability Charges Collected?
The County of San Bernardino Tax Collector, in conjunction with annual property taxes, collects water Availability Charges. The County charges a fee of $0.30 perparcel to perform the collection functions. This fee is payable by the taxpayer.