News Flash

Latest News

Posted on: June 9, 2020

Board Approves Smaller Budget with No Rate Increase Amid COVID-19


Customer Assistance Program Expanded and Capital Improvements Continue

On Wednesday, June 3, 2020, the Santa Margarita Water District Board of Directors unanimously approved a revised budget with $1.8 million in reductions, a new customer assistance program to help customers experiencing financial difficulties, and canceled the previously approved rate increase scheduled to be implemented January 2021. 

Each year, the District develops an annual budget that allows us to provide safe and reliable drinking water, wastewater, and recycled water services to our nearly 200,000 residents. Recognizing that this year is different, the District made every effort to defer spending to the degree possible without impacting water quality or customer service.

“We recognize the gravity of the economic situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Betty Olson, Board President.  “This budget ensures safe and reliable services to our customers while responsibly deferring expenses during these uncertain times.”

The Board also approved a longer-term Customer Assistance Program to support customers during these difficult economic times. Customers may now contact the District and set up a program to defer their bills for three months. The program allows them to repay the deferral over 24 months. In April, the Board adopted a One-Month Deferral Program, which adds to the District’s current Payment Plan options and short-term Payment Extensions.

Amidst the pandemic, the District remains committed to maintaining critical infrastructure and ensuring water supply reliability for the region.

The Five Year Capital Replacement Program includes a well thought-out prioritization of equipment, pipelines, reservoirs, and systems in need of replacement. The interactive map shows the project locations, costs, and details.

Just prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the District reviewed its strategic plan and recommitted its focus to recycle nominally 100% of its wastewater, have 30% local water supply by 2030, and secure six months of drinking water storage by 2030. The development of local supplies is important to ensure that safe and reliable water is available in emergencies and that the District realizes the long-term cost savings when compared to the ongoing increase in imported water costs. Many of these efforts take decades of planning, foresight, and coordination, and District staff will continue to work toward these goals. Both the strategic plan and capital replacement programs are financed by the District and included in customer rates.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Latest News


Board Approves Lower Tax Rates

Posted on: September 10, 2020
Water Quality Report

Your Drinking Water is Safe

Posted on: September 21, 2020
District Map Boundary 1-blooming

2020 SMWD Blooms Photo Winners

Posted on: August 28, 2020

DIY Leak Check App!

Posted on: June 15, 2020

On Tap eNewsletter Now Available

Posted on: June 25, 2020

Be Alert for Scams

Posted on: April 15, 2020
What To Flush Social Media Content

Flushing Etiquette

Posted on: April 15, 2020

A Message from the General Manager

Posted on: March 13, 2020
The Mission San Juan Capistrano SJT-4255 (1200px)

San Juan Capistrano Water Utility

Posted on: January 22, 2020

California Water Efficiency Laws

Posted on: January 2, 2020

Tony Celebrates 30 Years and Counting!

Posted on: December 17, 2019

Community Conversations

Posted on: November 19, 2019

Water Service During a Power Outage

Posted on: October 9, 2019

Frank Ury Appointed to Board of Directors

Posted on: September 5, 2019
Bill Insert_Water Festival 2019_print ready front (1)

May the 4th Be With You!

Posted on: April 25, 2019
landscapes tour-03

Landscape Inspiration

Posted on: March 27, 2019
last 24 hours

Water Levels Rise by 43 Million Gallons

Posted on: February 20, 2019

2018 Year In Review

Posted on: January 16, 2019
paying bills

Having financial difficulties?

Posted on: January 28, 2019

Rain, Rain! Give your irrigation a holiday

Posted on: November 29, 2018

World Toilet Day

Posted on: November 19, 2018
Nov Dec On Tap cover

On Tap Newsletter Now Available

Posted on: November 1, 2018

Imagine a Day Without Water

Posted on: October 10, 2018

Meet the Faces + Places of SMWD

Posted on: October 6, 2018
Upper Chiquita Reservoir

Ready to Respond in an Emergency

Posted on: September 13, 2018

District to Host Blood Drive

Posted on: July 10, 2018
Smart Irrigation Month JPEG

July is Smart Irrigation Month

Posted on: April 12, 2017
Leaking outdoor water faucet

The Water-Wise Lifestyle Is Here to Stay

Posted on: November 22, 2016