City Spreads Awareness of Proposed New Water Rates

Beverly Hills residents and businesses are likely to see their bi-monthly water bill change soon, but the city is taking special efforts to make sure these changes don’t come as a surprise. 

In addition to informational mailers delivered to every household, there will be town hall meetings from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. on Jan. 17 and Feb. 1 for residents to learn more about the proposed new rates and provide their feedback. A public hearing will be held during the Feb. 20 City Council meeting and a final vote will be taken in a March 5 meeting.

The new rates will result in a higher bill for some customers and a decreased bill for others. 

Businesses can anticipate seeing their bi-monthly water and wastewater bill drop by $192, while residents living in multi-family dwellings can anticipate a $3 drop. Residents in single-family homes, on the other hand, can expect to see a $12 increase.

The proposed water rates would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2025, while a 1-cent increase to the water reliability charge would go into effect on July 1 of this year. 

“That charge really helps to invest in our insurance policy meaning more water wells, better resiliency, so that we can diversify our water portfolio and that’s really helpful if there’s an emergency here,” said Director of Public Works Shana Epstein, while giving a presentation on rate changes to the Arts and Culture Commission this week. 

The city has posted a bill calculator tool at so that people can determine what their new costs will be using their meter size, household type and last amount of water usage. Residents will also be able to view recordings of the town hall meetings on this page. 

Epstein recommends that any residents with questions either attend a town hall in person at City Hall or watch the meeting live at using passcode “90210.”

“If you come in person, we will have people there who can help you with the cost calculator. We encourage you to watch in and if you have any questions, you can always email us at or call us at 310-285-2467,” she said during the presentation. 

These rate changes did not come out of the blue.  Every five years, the city performs a study to ensure it generates enough revenue to support its water and wastewater systems and that the rates charged to each class of customer equal the cost of providing service to that class. 

The city does not make a profit from its water services and always tries to balance costs and revenues, keeping in mind the costs of investing in improvements and repairs to the system.

The city’s proposed rate changes seek to tackle three key goals: to fund the development of local groundwater wells to increase the city’s water independence, to upgrade aging water infrastructure and to offset the costs of inflation. 

The new water rates ordinance also contains caveats that allow the city to readjust rates in two specific scenarios.

Firstly, if the Metropolitan Water District, which supplies approximately 80% of the city’s water supply, changes its rates more than the city anticipates, this increase can be passed through to customers. 

Secondly, if there is an emergency such as an earthquake, the city may lose access to part of its water supply and therefore asks customers to conserve their use. In this scenario, the city can temporarily increase rates to ensure it has enough funds to continue investing in its water system after the emergency concludes. 

More information on the proposed changes and opportunities for residents to weigh in can be found at  

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