Variance and Adjustment Request

Every MNWD customer has unique water needs.  In 2011, the District implemented the Water Budget Based Rate Structure (WBBRS).  The rate structure calculates an individualized water budget for each customer account based on the type of customer class.  The approach is intended to encourage efficient use of water.  The rate structure applies to all customer classes within the District.  Customers that use water in excess of their water budget are charged a higher rate.  The District’s rate structure rewards efficient water use and helps reduce water waste.

The District’s Water Budget Based Rate Structure is intended to recover the proportionate cost of providing water service and to allocate costs to customers who place the greatest demands on the District’s water system.  Any usage in excess of a customer’s total water budget results in additional costs that their higher demand places on the system.  This usage, in excess of a customer’s total water budget, is reflected in charges in Tiers 3, 4, and/or 5.  In certain limited circumstances, the District may grant billing adjustments for the qualified reasons as specified below.  When an adjustment is granted, the billing units of water charged in Tiers 4 and/or 5 may be recalculated at the Tier 3 or 4 rate.

It is the sole responsibility of the customer to contact the District to request variances and adjustments of their water budget through a Residential Variance Adjustment Form. Customers who would like to appeal any penalty charges resulting from implementation of the Water Shortage Contingency Plan must complete the Variance Adjustment Form within 30 days from the high bill. Any approvals to appeals are contingent on consumption levels coming back down within budget within two billing cycles from the high bill submitted for an adjustment. Customers must keep accounts current in order to avoid incurring any additional fees or charges. It is the responsibility of the customer to contact the Billing Department to make any payment arrangements if payment cannot be made in full at the time payment is due. Any approved adjustments will be reflected in the form of a credit on a future water bill.

Variances to Allocations:

  • Increased Number of People Residing in a Home
  • Increased Landscape Area
  • Licensed Child Care or Adult Care Facility
  • Medical Needs
  • Livestock (weighing over 100 pounds each)

Acceptable proof will be required for each variance request at the discretion of the District.  Acceptable proof to receive a variance to the default allocation includes, but is not limited to, site plans, or a list of people living in the residence.

No retroactive budget variances will be made for increases in household population or medical needs.

Once a variance is approved, it will become effective on the next bill.  An approved variance request will increase the base allocation (Tier 1 and/or Tier 2), and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

The District will adjust up to the most recent previous bill for a verified increase to the estimated landscape area.  Note that for a residential customer, it takes approximately 300 square feet of an increase in landscape area to increase the outdoor water budget by one (1) billing unit in the summer months.

Any customers providing falsified information to the District may be liable for back charges.  Bill calculations based on falsified information will be recalculated with corrected customer account details.

One-Time Adjustments:

  • Pool Fill (if filled before June 1, 2015)
  • Leak Repair
  • New Landscape Establishment – New California Friendly Landscapes (new plants must be installed between November and April)
  • Courtesy Adjustments – New Customer
  • Irrigation Timer Malfunction (once every three (3) years)

We’re committed to making sure everyone has a personalized water budget that provides the water necessary to meet their efficient needs.  If your needs are different than your allocation or you need a one-time bill adjustment, please complete the Residential Variance Request Form below.

Click here to read the Variance Adjustment & Allocation Policy.

Commercial and Irrigation Customers click here to submit a Commercial Variance Adjustment Form.

If you are unable to complete the online application, you may download a PDF version and submit it by mail. Click here to download the PDF version.  Please mail the form to Moulton Niguel Water District, 27500 La Paz Road, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677.


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