Understanding Your Rates

  1. Water Rates
  2. Sewer Rates

Western is dedicated to keeping your water costs as low as possible, working tirelessly to keep our operations as cost-efficient as possible while ensuring supply reliability. 

Here is a breakdown of the charges on your water bill and how each is calculated.  For additional details, see the links below or contact our customer care team at 951.571.7104. 

Total Water Charge
Water Reliability Charge
Metropolitan Water District Readiness-to-Serve Charge
Pumping Charge
System Charge

Total Water Charge

Your total water charge is the cost of actual water delivered to you during the billing period.  The water is measured in hundred cubic feet (HCF)* by the water meter on your property.

*A hundred cubic feet is equal to 748 gallons.

How it is calculated?
This charge is based on the amount of water delivered through the meter multiplied by the water rate.  The water rate varies based on “tiers” that encourage conservation. 

Western’s water rate tiers
Western has affordable tiers for indoor and outdoor water use (Tiers 1 and 2).  Tier 1 plus Tier 2 equals a customer’s water budget for the billing period.  Staying in these two tiers is considered efficient water use.  If a customer uses more than their efficient budget, the rate increases in each of Tiers 3 through 5, which are considered inefficient, wasteful and unsustainable water use.  To learn more about water budgets, please click here.

Water Reliability Charge - Riverside Service Area Customers Only

The water reliability charge is used to invest in facilities that increase local water supplies, guard against imported-water shortages and ensure uninterrupted local access to water. 

These facility investments – including the La Sierra Pipeline, the Sterling Pump Station, and the Arlington and Chino groundwater desalter projects – add to our local water supply and reduce reliance on imported water.

How it is calculated?
This charge is 42 cents per 748 gallons (1 HCF) that a customer uses.

MWD Readiness-to-Serve Charge - Riverside Service Area Water Customers Only

This charge is a direct pass-through charge from the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California, the water agency Western imports most of its water supply from.

This charge helps maintain MWD-managed storage basins such as Lake Skinner and Diamond Valley Lake, and ensures Western’s access to water in the event of an emergency, natural disaster or long-term drought.

How it is calculated?
This pass-through charge from MWD is based on your property’s meter size.  While Western is the agency collecting the charge, Western does not keep any money from this charge.

Pumping Charge

The pumping charge is the price of the energy required to move water from its source to the Western storage reservoir that serves your area.  Because these reservoirs are located on high ground, gravity takes over to bring the water down to individual properties.

How it is calculated?
This charge multiplies the amount of water a customer uses – that is, the number of HCF delivered – by the cost of pumping 1 HCF to the reservoir serving that customer’s property.  Some service areas, or zones, require more energy to serve than others due to their location and elevation.

System Charge 

The system charge pays for the cost to provide instant, anytime access to clean water.  It covers Western’s fixed costs that are required to sustain access and keep the entire system running safely. These costs include water treatment, quality-control testing, environmental compliance, maintenance and repairs, administrative costs and more.

This charge is similar to the fixed charge on a Netflix bill. Each customer pays a fixed cost for access to content, regardless of how much or how little is utilized. 

How it is calculated?
For residential customers, this fixed charge is about $35 to $60 per month based on the size of the meter on your property. The larger the meter, the more demand you can put on the system and therefore the higher your cost to access the system. 

For more information or to get your questions answered, contact our customer care team at 951.571.7104.

Adopted Rates - Summaries by Service Area

Riverside Potable Service Area Rate Summary
Riverside Nonpotable Service Area Rate Summary
March East Service Area Rate Summary
Murrieta Service Area Rate Summary
Rainbow Service Area Rate Summary
IAWP Agricultural Service Area Rate Summary
Non IAWP Agricultural Service Area Rate Summary 

Power Zones Map This shows the geographic boundaries for the Pumping Charge.

Cost of Service Studies
Riverside Service Area (Including March East and Rainbow Service Areas)
Murrieta Service Area

October 4, 2017 Public Hearing Materials
Riverside Potable Service Area Rate Notice
Riverside Nonpotable Service Area Rate Notice
March East Service Area Rate Notice
Murrieta Service Area Rate Notice
Rainbow Service Area Rate Notice
IAWP Agricultural Service Area Rate Notice
Non IAWP Agricultural Service Area Rate Notice 
Western's Responses to Public Hearing Questions

Water Budget Rate Structure

The Water Budget Rates webpage has full details about the water budget rate structure.