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Water Conservation Could Lead To Financial Hardship For Water Agencies

Conserving water could cost some California water agencies, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

Moody’s reports statewide water restrictions approved this week could eventually lead to lower credit ratings for California water agencies. That’s because less water use means lower water sales, which in turn means less revenue.

Moody’s Eric Hoffmann said that could be a problem for agencies that rely on revenues to make bond payments. And he says Moody’s knows it would be politically unpopular to raise rates on people who are using less water.

“But ultimately, local water users and water agencies have pledged their good credit toward making bond payments. And one of the expectations is that, in the event that revenues are less then what might have been expected, rates will be raised,” Hoffmann said.

Hoffmann said many agencies are actually contractually obligated to raise rates if revenues fall below certain thresholds.

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