In May 2016, for the first time in more than two decades, Byron-Bethany Irrigation District’s Board of Directors voted to authorize an increase to the District’s uniform, agricultural water rate.

“We know it will be difficult for our farmers and ranchers to shoulder this additional burden,” BBID General Manager Rick Gilmore said at the time. “BBID has been able to keep the same, low rate in place for more than 20 years, but recent events made this action unavoidable to protect the financial stability of the District.”

Though consultants recommended setting the rate at $102 per acre foot, the BBID Board ultimately decided to set the 2017 rate at $65 per acre foot, opting to use financial reserves to soften the blow to BBID’s growers.


  • Your Water Service & Water Rates

    BBID charges a uniform rate per acre-foot for agricultural water delivery. This rate structure is compliant with the Water Conservation Act of 2009, SBX 7-7. The previous rate, $20 per acre foot, had been in place for more than two decades.

    However, due to a sudden and significant drop in property tax revenues and unforeseen increases in expenditures – driven by the cost associated with protecting your water rights, and the need to secure additional water supplies – the District hired an independent rate consultant to conduct a comprehensive cost of service study.

    The result of that independent analysis suggests BBID must increase its uniform, per acre-foot rate to continue providing reliable water deliveries and maintain financial stability.

  • Why Were Rate Increases Needed?

    A Drop In Property Tax Revenue

    While the District’s expenditures rose, its non-rate revenue dropped considerably after Contra Costa County’s move to detach portions of the town of Discovery Bay from the BBID service area. That area has generated about $685,000 annually in property tax revenue for the District. The District lost half the revenue in 2016, and the full amount in 2017.

    A Legal Fight For Your Water Rights

    The ongoing battle with the State Water Resources Control Board to protect the District’s pre-1914 water right — the very foundation for your water deliveries — has substantial ongoing expenses. The litigation with the SWRCB is a critically necessary expense to ensure water reliability for our customers, now and in the future.

    The Five-Year Rate Plan

    Our independent rate analysis indicated the largest rate increase was necessary in year one, to cover water right expenditures and the cost of securing additional water supplies. Proposed rates drop from 2016 to 2017, with marginal increases phased in from 2017 through 2020.

  • How Are My Rates Calculated?

    To calculate the new rates, the independent rate consultant added operating expenses, debt service and pay-as-you-go capital to be financed by rates, and then subtracted non-rate revenue.

    The District’s non-rate revenue typically more than covers its fixed costs like Capital Improvement Projects, debt service, and general and administrative costs. Non-rate revenue includes water transfers, property taxes and other miscellaneous revenues.

    The remaining revenue is recovered with a volumetric charge on a per acre-foot basis.

  • Did You Know?

    As a public agency, BBID cannot earn a profit from the services it provides, and must charge no more than the actual costs associated with providing services to its customers.


Current and Future (Projected) Water Rates

$65/AF

Current Rate

$82/AF

Projected 2018 Rate

$83/AF

Projected 2019 Rate

$85/AF

Projected 2020 Rate


Proposition 218 Presentation

As part of the Proposition 218 process, CH2M Hill, BBID’s engineering firm, delivered a presentation to the BBID Board and general public, outlining the District’s revenues and expenditures.



Cost of Service Study

CH2M Hill also completed a comprehensive Cost of Service study.