Coachella Valley Water District
Tiered Rates Advisory Committee
For CVWD, one of the key items that enabled a smooth implementation of BBRs was the formation of a Tiered Rates Advisory Committee (TRAC). The TRAC consisted of representatives from each of the cities within the District’s jurisdiction (usually councilmembers), the Community Association Institute, the local Indian tribes, the Sierra Club, the local school districts, and the other water districts in the Coachella Valley. The group was invited to several meetings at CVWD.
The first meeting consisted of educating the members on various types of water rates, a primer on BBRs in particular, examples of successful implementation, examples of unsuccessful implementation, and the proposed BBR design for CVWD. The TRAC members were asked to provide input to staff. The input was documented and any outstanding questions were followed up on with the member.
At the second meeting, the specific water budget equation for residential customers and dedicated outdoor irrigation customers was reviewed. Some of the items the District requested that the members review and comment on were the tier breakpoints or widths, the naming of the tiers, and the design of the water bill.
At the third meeting, the recommendations on the tier breakpoints were solidified as well as the grades customers were going to receive on their bills, and the naming of the tiers.
The outcome of these meetings was that CVWD received full buy-in from all cities within its jurisdiction, as well as the Community Association Institute, which represents the homeowner’s associations in the CVWD service area. The members were fully engaged in the discussions and receptive to the goals of BBRs. The District was then invited to address the full councils of each of the cities, which led to resolutions in support of the new rate structure. In addition, several positive articles were written about the upcoming rate change in the local newspaper and other local publications.