Survey Shows City’s Proposed Water Rates Among Lowest in the Nation

Fresno ’s proposed water rates under its upcoming residential metering program will be among the lowest in the nation, according a survey conducted by the American Water Works Association (AWWA). Results from the study show Fresno’s proposed water rates are below the median rates for other similar sized cities by as much as 52%.

In addition, the survey shows that Fresno’s monthly wastewater/sewer charges are comparatively low, by as much as 72% below the median residential sewer rates and 67% below the median commercial and industrial sewer rates for other cities.

The rate data was collected as part of the AWWA 2008 Water and Wastewater Rate Survey. The survey is a joint effort made available by the AWWA and Raftelis Financial Consultants, Inc. (RFC), and provides an in-depth analysis of water and wastewater rates and charges. The study compared rates from 61 water agencies and 40 wastewater agencies which closely approximate the City of Fresno in size, having a water and sewer service population of over 200,000. The method is so comprehensive that it truly provides an “apples to apples” comparison.

“The results from this survey are impressive and demonstrate that Fresno’s water rates are an excellent value in comparison to costs in other communities,” Mayor Ashley Swearengin said. “I commend the ongoing commitment of the Department of Public Utilities to provide top quality service to its customers while keeping costs at a very affordable level.”

The rate survey is particularly timely because the City is in the process of transitioning to residential water meters. “I know that the Water Division runs a lean and efficient operation, and it’s great to be able to reassure the public that the water meter rates being proposed are competitive on both a state and national basis, said Lon Martin, Assistant Director of Public Utilities.

Director of Public Utilities, Rene Ramirez, said “This survey not only shows that we offer some of the best rates in the nation, it also highlights how efficient we are. The report demonstrates that we do considerably more work with fewer employees than many communities. Our commitment to the community is that we will continue to maintain this high level of service and efficiency”.

Monthly Water Rates

Selected California Cities

Residential Rates @ 30 Hundred Cubic Feet (HCF) Usage = 22,440 gallons


San Diego - $95.48

Concord - 94.03

San Francisco - 89.57

Los Angeles - 81.66

Oakland - 79.18

Fremont - 76.68

Covina - 52.69

Riverside - 44.19

Fresno - 28.33

Data provided by the AWWA 2008 Rate Survey Analysis

Monthly Sewer/Wastewater Rates

Selected California Cities

Residential Rates @ 15 Hundred Cubic Feet(HCF) Usage = 11,220 gallons


San Francisco - $125.06

Santa Rosa - 119.91

San Diego - 57.24

Los Angeles - 33.55

Coachella - 21.50

Fresno - 21.01

San Bernardino - 17.95 

Orange County - 16.75

Oakland - 12.60

Data provided by the AWWA 2008 Rate Survey Analysis

For more information or additional details from the AWWA report, please contact Ann Kloose at (559) 417-4291.