WATSONVILLE—On Feb. 17 the Board of Directors of the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency (PV Water) unanimously adopted the 2021 Cost of Service Rate Study and Resolution 2021-05.
The move adopts procedures for public hearing, notice and protest concerning proposed revisions to charges for augmentation and water delivery. In taking these actions, the board directed staff to initiate a service charge increase public outreach program leading up to PV Water’s public hearings on the proposed revised rates on April 21.
The proposed rate increases would be used to fund and implement PV Water’s Basin Management Plan (BMP) update, which is also an approved Groundwater Sustainability Plan Alternative under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
The BMP describes projects and programs, selected by a committee of stakeholders, that when fully implemented would result in the Pajaro Valley Groundwater Basin achieving sustainable groundwater resources, PV Water said in a press release.
Local farmer and board member Javier Zamora said he recognizes the need to reach groundwater sustainability in the agriculture-rich Pajaro Valley.
“I love to farm in the Pajaro Valley, and I look forward to being able to farm into the future,” Zamora said. “I want others to be able to farm [here] in the future, and we can only ensure that future by building the much-needed water supply projects that these rates will allow PV Water to build.”
The proposed rate structures, which include an augmentation charge based on pumped groundwater, and a separate delivered water charge for blended recycled water supplied in the coastal area, are similar to the rate structures currently in place, PV Water says.
The Rate Study serves to provide the documentation necessary to meet Proposition 26, Proposition 218 and other legal requirements.
The projects and programs to address groundwater overdraft and seawater intrusion issues created from over-pumping of the aquifer in the Pajaro Valley include using surface water from College Lake, a recharge project at the dunes area west of San Andreas Road, and an expanded conservation program.
In 2020, PV Water delivered 5,199-acre feet of supplemental irrigation supply composed largely of recycled water in the coastal zone to offset groundwater pumping.
To view the entire 2021 Cost of Service Rate Study visit https://bit.ly/3kjTP8E.