How much will the project cost in total, and how long will it take to repay it?

A:

As the first step in the rate adjustment process, the California Public Utilities Commission approved an initial project budget of about $60 million. Similar to paying off a mortgage, payments will end once the full cost of the project is recouped. The costs are recovered in small increments over the lifespan of the project – typically several decades – to avoid drastic increases to monthly water bills. It is important to note that Cal Water can only recoup the project costs once the California Public Utilities Commission determines that the costs incurred were prudent and justified. Based on the existing project cost estimate, the rate increase is projected to end in approximately 40 years. There will not be an impact to rates until 2020 or later, and the exact amount and length of the repayment will depend on the final costs.