By Lucero Castañeda
DAVIS, CA––As part of a regular status report on the city’s utility funds, the Davis Utilities Commission presented an update on the water fund for the 2021-2022 fiscal year on April 19.
Assistant to the Director of the Public Works Utilities and Operations, Adrienne Heinig, shared the three city funds from which the Water Utility Fund received its income. These funds were presented as 511, 512, and 513.
Heinig specifies that, “511 is going to be our operating base, where we have most of our salaries [and] most of our day-to-day operations…512 is going to be our interest from investments [and] reimbursement for loan programs…Then our 513 fund is going to be our water connection fees.”
However, a few factors did affect their total revenue. The commission explains that in 2018 the city replaced all of its water meters with an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). Additionally, the state also saw the three driest months on record near the end of 2021, which led to an uptick in water use.
As for expenditures, Heinig highlights that the commission’s focus is on ensuring a “balance between our expenditures and our revenue.” Reaching this balance has not been an issue for the water fund thus far.
The biggest difference between the budget and expenditures is on capital improvement projects. The Utilities Commission calculates that their working capital for the water fund would be “anything that’s outside of the reserves requirements.” This would be around 39 million dollars on record.
The reason discussed for this difference revolved around supply chain issues, staffing shortages, and the availability of staff for project management.
As for upcoming events that may impact utility costs, the state of California has decided to continue its water-use efficiency legislation, along with pushing its water-use efficiency targets. These were set up to begin in 2018 but were ultimately pushed back due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We still haven’t seen a lot of the finalizations that you would expect to see, but they are moving forward on that which could be an additional burden in terms of reporting, tracking, and monitoring within the water fund” explains Heinig.