As the county's primary water wholesaler, Valley Water makes sure there is enough safe, clean water for homes and businesses. To finance this monumental task, Valley Water collects revenue, primarily from property taxes, well owners, agricultural water customers and water retailers, such as San Jose Water Company.
Most county residents do not pay a bill directly to Valley Water, instead they pay their local water retailers. The cost local residents pay the retailers, however, is affected by the cost to Valley Water of supplying that water.
Valley Water’s major costs include operations, debt service, capital improvements to the treatment and delivery system, and water purchases from outside the county.
To avoid large charge increases in any year, Valley Water develops 10-year projections so that charges can be increased gradually when needed.
Each year Valley Water conducts a public review process to set water charges for the coming year.
Information about the recent process is here
How can you lower your water bill?
Save water and money through conservation
What are the current water charges?
Valley Water is a water wholesaler. The following charges reflect what water retailers and agricultural users pay for wholesale or well water.
The "2021-22 Protection and Augmentation of Water Supplies" or PAWS 2021 Report, presents the financial and water supply information that forms the basis for the fiscal year 2021-2022 wholesale water charges. Valley Water released the PAWS 2021 Report on February 26, 2021 in compliance with the District Act and other legal requirements as part of its wholesale water rate setting process. The PAWS 2021 Report includes staff recommended water charges, which differ from Board-adopted water charges for fiscal year 2021-2022. Fiscal year 2021-2022 water charges were adopted by the Board of Directors on May 11, 2021, with an effective date of July 1, 2021.
In 2020, Valley Water completed a scientific study of its groundwater benefit zones. Based on a comprehensive evaluation of geological studies, local groundwater, and the services Valley Water provides, a minor adjustment to the boundary of North County Zone W-2 and a partitioning of the South County Zone W-5 into three zones: W-5 (generally Morgan Hill to the Pajaro River), W-7 (Coyote Valley), and W-8 (below Uvas and Chesbro Reservoirs) was adopted. These adjustments ensure that ratepayers are grouped in a way that reflects the most recent and relevant data regarding the services and benefits received by well users.
Questions about retail water charges should be addressed to the appropriate retail water agency.
Adopted Water Charges for Fiscal Year 2021-2022 (effective July 1, 2021)
|Type of Charge||Agricultural Water||Non-Agricultural Water|
|(per AF)||(per AF)|
|Basic User/Groundwater Production Charge|
|Surface Water 1|
|Surface Water Master Charge||$40.90||$40.90|
|Total Surface Water Charges by Zone 1|
|Zone W-2 Deliveries||$75.05||$1,539.90|
|Zone W-5 Deliveries||$75.05||$528.90|
|Zone W-7 Deliveries||$75.05||$569.40|
|Zone W-8 Deliveries||$75.05||$382.40|
|Minimum Surface Water Charges by Zone 2|
|Minimum Charge--Zone W-2||$25.61||$1,124.25|
|Minimum Charge--Zone W-5||$25.61||$366.00|
|Minimum Charge--Zone W-7||$25.61||$396.38|
|Minimum Charge--Zone W-8||$25.61||$256.13|
- Total surface water charge by zone is the sum of the basic user charge by zone plus the surface water master charge.
- Minimum Charge by zone equals 75 percent of the basic user charge by zone.
- Treated Water Charge is the sum of Basic User charge for Zone W-2 ($1,499/AF) plus the Contract Treated Water Surcharge ($115/AF).
- The charge for non-contract deliveries is the sum of the Basic User charge for Zone W-2 ($1,499/AF) and the treated water surcharge for non-contract water ($200/AF) for usage greater than 100% of contract amount.
AF = acre feet
Ag = agricultural
Non-Ag = municipal and industrial