Cal Water Customer Questions Small Fee

Aug 12, 2014 7:39 PM by Joe Moeller

Greg Nieto does what he can to use less water. He says him and neighbors can't figure why a small fee increases on their bills when they use less water.

The small fee found on this Cal Water bill is called WRAM. It stands for water rate adjustment mechanism. Chico resident and Cal Water customer Greg Nieto wonders what this fee is.

"If you less water you get charged, if you use more water you get charged." Says Nieto.

He says the fee goes up regardless if he conserves water.

"I want to know why we are being charged for saving water. I could see why for using too much water."

He claims him and neighbors went fishing for answers and had no luck.

"We called Cal Water, one of my neighbors, but they were not able to give him an explanation as to why we are being charged this fee."

We went to Cal Water in Chico to see if we could get the answers. Acting District Manager Pete Bonacich says this fee is what keeps water flowing to residents.

"The WRAM is a water rate adjustment mechanism, it is a mechanism that is set up by the public utilities commission to make sure we are able to cover our operating expenses." Says Bonacich.

Bonacich says the public utilities commission makes predictions on the amount of water that Cal Water will sell to customers.

"That is like predicting the weather sometimes you nail it sometimes you don't."

He tells us the water they sell are dollar for dollar what they buy it for.

"If that prediction on their part if it is less we pump less water and we sell less water to our customers we still have costs that we have to cover."

He says the fee is nothing new.

"We still have to have people go out and read our meters, we still have to have people go out and check our well sites, and maintain our pumps and things like that."

Without the small fee Cal Water wouldn't be able to operate.

"The perception is that they are being penalized for conserving and that is not really the case. It is a mechanism to make sure we have enough money to operate our system."

If you still have questions as to what the WRAM fee is on your bill Cal Water district manager says feel free to give them a call.


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