2021 Water Rates and Budget

The Board of Water Works Trustees of the City of Des Moines today approved rate increases of 5 to 7 percent for retail customers and 15 percent for most wholesale customers at its October 27 meeting.

The increases will take effect April 1, 2021. A 5 percent water rate increase equals an additional $1.88 per month for water charges for a four-person household in Des Moines that uses 7,500 gallons of water a month.

The capital improvement fee will continue at 25 cents per 1,000 gallons for Des Moines customers with no increase for 2021. This fee is tiered and declines to 17 cents and further to13 cents  for significant commercial and industrial usage. A four-person household in Des Moines pays about $1.88 per month in capital improvement fees, which are used to replace aging water mains in Des Moines.  Unincorporated Polk County customers also pay tiered capital improvement fees, which will remain unchanged in 2021 and are used to replace aging water infrastructure in unincorporated service areas.  

The new rate increases will generate $3.5 million in increased water revenue for 2021.  A complete listing of Des Moines Water Works’ 2020 water rate structure can be found here: 2021 Water Rates. 

At its November meeting, the Board will vote on a proposed 2021 budget that includes $77.2 million in operating revenue. Proposed expenses are budgeted at $50.7 million, an increase of $2.2 million, a 4.5 percent increase, from 2020. The increase is a result of operational increases, including chemicals and lime residual removal fees, in addition to staff-related expenses.

The 2021 capital budget is proposed at $24.5 million and includes money to pay for $7.3 million in water main replacements and $4.3 million for maintenance work at the Fleur Drive Treatment Plant.

The Board also will vote to approve $4.3 million to repay debt for 2021.

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