SANTA MONICA–Santa Monica City Council held two public hearings and approved new rates for water and wastewater in Santa Monica on Tuesday, January 28. The newly approved rates seek to eliminate costly imported water over the next five years and continue essential water pipe replacement projects.

The new rates were shared with the community through a series of open houses and neighborhood organization meetings in summer, fall, and winter 2019. The approved rates aim to achieve water self-sufficiency that will allow for greater local control of water costs over the long term while also reducing carbon emissions associated with water traveling hundreds of miles to get to local taps.

In 2011, nearly half of the city’s water supply came from imported water. In 2020, Santa Monica imported between 25 and 35 percent of the water supply. As part of the new rate agreement, a drought rate structure will be established in case of a statewide emergency. Residents who participate in the low-income assistance program will continue to receive subsidies to match the new water rate tier structure. The new rates take effect March 1.