For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Contact: Naseem Farooqi

June 26, 2020                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Public Affairs Manager



Amid Pandemic and Economic Crisis, Directors Collaborate to Improve Water Quality & Infrastructure Without Increasing Costs on Ratepayers


RIALTO, CA – As the country continues to face a pandemic and an economic crisis, the Water Valley Water  District (WVWD) Board of Directors responsibly approved fiscal year (FY) 2020-2021 budget with $416,000 in cost savings and no water rate increases.


“In the face of a pandemic and economic crisis, this budget delivers on our promise to increase fiscal responsibility and accountability,” stated Board President Channing Hawkins. “I’m proud of the West Valley Water District board and management team for working together to make hard choices and prioritizing investments in our infrastructure. Despite all the obstacles, we were able to account for revenue shortfalls and ensure quality services for ratepayers without raising rates.”


Anticipating a decline in revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WVWD staff introduced a proposed operating budget in May that applied a 10 percent reduction to operation expenditures. Over the past several weeks, the board of directors held five public virtual workshops to recommend additional cost savings opportunities.


During these meetings, the board identified and eliminated an additional $416,000 in expenses from professional service contracts, including fees to lobbyists and consultants, and internal operating agreements for fleet, waste and building maintenance services. The overall FY 2020-2021 budget includes a nearly 12 percent decrease compared to FY 19-20 approved budget but keeps water rates steady for ratepayers.


“We will not consider rate increases during a global pandemic,” stated Vice President Kyle Crowther. “I am pleased that we were able to identify funding for critical projects to enhance services across our Water District. I am proud of the work our management team has done to ensure that we have a budget that keeps water flowing.”


As the COVID-19 pandemic forces California’s economy into a recession, many state and local agencies are being forced to cut back on spending. Governor Gavin Newsom recently suggested that the State of California faces $54.3 billion deficit despite starting the year with about $20 billion in reserves. While WVWD does not fund operations and capital improvement projects via sales tax revenues, it does fund operations by utilizing district general fund and capacity charges, which were also affected by COVID-19 and ratepayers’ inability to sustain payments due to financial strain. The approved budget not addresses WVWD’s financial needs but does so without rate increases or issuing new debt.




The West Valley Water District has proudly served the communities of Bloomington, Colton, Fontana, Rialto, San Bernardino, and Jurupa Valley since 1952. Through name changes and consolidation, the mission has always remained the same: to provide customers with safe, high quality, and reliable water service at a reasonable rate and in a sustainable manner. The District provides water for 83,000 customers and is overseen by a five-member, publicly-elected Board of Directors.