San Juan Water District’s New Approach to Rate Increase Outreach by San Juan Water District Jan 13, 2021 Member Submitted News San Juan Water District conducted significant community outreach to educate and inform customers about a proposed five-year retail rate increase. In addition to the Board hearings, San Juan held community meetings, conducted social media outreach, included information in bill inserts and in e-blast communications. Throughout the drought years, San Juan was relaying information about why customers needed to pay more while being asked to curtail their water use by 36 percent. The outreach included details about: their annual retail budget impacts of drought cut-backs on water sales revenues five-year financial plan including why it was essential to maintain and improve financial stability necessity of funding capital replacement projects need to meet debt service obligations importance of maintaining Board-adopted reserve levels necessity of meeting increased regulatory requirements Each year, prior to new rates taking effect, San Juan reminds customers about why rate increases are necessary and what they are funding and also provides information about capital projects year-round in its communications and outreach. To assist with this message, San Juan developed educational materials about customer rates to explain how rates are structured and how they are used: A “whiteboard” video highlighting how rates are allocated, what they pay for and how the revenue is used. The whiteboard theme used a graphical explainer technique that was also used in subsequent newsletters and deliverables. It was distributed through San Juan’s website, social channels and e-blasts. A rate fact sheet that identified similar information for customers who prefer to review information in print format. If San Juan’s board considers future rate increases, the video and fact sheet will be helpful tools to explain how customer’s water rates are structured.