2020 Budget and Water Rates

Des Moines Water Works staff has proposed Des Moines Water Works’ 2020 calendar year budget, which includes revenue from 2020 rate increases for all service areas.  The Board of Water Works Trustees will hold a public hearing for the proposed 2020 budget on Tuesday, November 26, 2019, at 3:30 p.m. at Des Moines Water Works’ general office, located at 2201 George Flagg Parkway, in Des Moines.

The Board approved rate increases of 5 percent for retail customers and 10 percent for most wholesale customers at their October 29 meeting.  The 5 percent water rate increase equates to an additional $1.80 per month for water charges for a four-person household in Des Moines (using 7,500 gallons a month). The Board also approved a capital improvement fee starting at $0.25 per 1,000 gallons for Des Moines customers, and this fee decreases for commercial and industrial customers with consumption exceeding 150,000 gallons per month.  The capital improvement fee equates to an additional $1.87 per month for a four-person household.  Funds from the capital improvement fee will be used to replace aging water mains in the city of Des Moines.  The rate increases will result in approximately $3.5 million of increased water revenue for 2020.  New water rates will go into effect April 1, 2020.  A complete listing of Des Moines Water Works’ 2020 water rate structure can be found here: 2020 Water Rates

The proposed 2020 budget includes $72.7 million of operating revenue.  The proposed 2020 operating expenses are budgeted at $48.5 million, an increase of $2.5 million from 2019, primarily due to increases in labor and benefits, lime residual disposal, and utilities.  Capital infrastructure costs are budgeted at $27.5 million. The 2020 capital budget includes $9.8 million for water main replacement and $8.9 million for improvements to water treatment plants and other facilities.  In addition to operating and capital expenditures, $4.3 million will be spent on debt repayment.

The 2020 water rate increases and annual budgets are consistent with greater investment in the water utility’s infrastructure and the challenges of producing safe drinking water in a state where surface water pollution is severe.

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