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Pasadena Water & Power

  • Purchased Water Adjustment Charge (PWAC)

    The Pasadena City Council will hold a public hearing on June 15, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at 100 N. Garfield Avenue in Pasadena to receive public comments regarding adoption of the proposed water rate adjustments to increase the Purchased Water Adjustment Charge ("PWAC").

    Download the Public Hearing Notice in English. 

    Download the Public Hearing Notice in Spanish

    What is the PWAC?

    Pasadena's water rates include an adjustment to reflect changes in the prices paid by PWP to procure water for its customers. This adjustment, called the Purchased Water Adjustment Charge (PWAC), is spelled out in Pasadena's Water Rate Ordinance (Pasadena Municipal Code Section 13.20.110). It authorizes PWP to set the rate by formula as purchased water costs or purchased power costs annual water sales volumes change.



    PWAC Rate History

    Purchased Water Adjustment Charge per billing unit, or hundred cubic feet (HCF), of water consumed: 

    Date  PWAC Rate 
    July 2009 $0.000
    October 2010 $0.095
    October 2011 $0.215
     October 2013  $0.315
    October 2014 $0.415
    October 2015 $0.465


    Frequently Asked Questions

    Why is the Purchased Water Adjustment Charge necessary?

    Purchased water makes up about 60% of Pasadena Water and Power’s water supply. As the cost of purchased water fluctuates, the PWAC provides Pasadena Water and Power with the ability to react to those changes by increasing or decreasing the water rates without having to request a change to the base rate.

    What is the current Purchased Water Adjustment Charge?

    The current PWAC is $0.415 per billing unit of water consumed.

    What is A "Billing Unit"?

    A billing unit is one hundred cubic feet (HCF), or 748 gallons.

    When did the Purchased Water Adjustment Charge first take effect?

    The Purchased Water Adjustment Charge, as currently formulated, first came into effect in 2002.

    How was this Purchased Water Adjustment Charge cost adjustment approved?

    The City Council approved the PWAC in Pasadena's Water Rate Ordinance (Pasadena Municipal Code Section 13.20.110).

    What is Proposition 218?

    Proposition 218 was initially approved by California voters in November 1996 with the intent to ensure that all taxes and most charges to property owners are subject to voter approval, and to further limit the use of assessments and property-related fees to pay for general governmental services rather than property-related services. In July 2006, the California Supreme Court ruled that water rates are property-related fees for Proposition 218 purposes. This ruling requires that water rate increases are subject to specific notification and public hearing requirements. Since July 2006, PWP has been adhering with this ruling and has been providing at least 45-day notices to its rate payers and giving them the opportunity to provide comments and attend public hearings prior to making water rate changes including PWAC adjustments. In 2009, the California Supreme Court further ruled that Proposition 218 can be used for multi-year rate changes without the need to hold more public hearings for each change under certain conditions.


Water Usage Gauge