Many Desert Water Agency customers have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are struggling to pay their bills. Though delinquencies have been extremely high, the DWA Board decided to keep water running for all customers and waive all late fees. The Board even approved the last budget without a planned rate increase.
Just this week, DWA increased its Help2Others water bill assistance from $100 a year to $200 a year effective immediately. The average delinquency is around $400 so the credit will help customers make significant progress on getting paid up. The $200 credit is roughly 20% of DWA’s average customer’s water cost over a year.
Customers can apply for the credit by going to www.dwa.org/h2o and filling out a simple online form. United Way of the Desert manages the fund and works to connect applicants to various forms of assistance.
More than $10,000 in water bill credits have been issued to DWA customers over the past 12 months.
“Our hope is that even more people who are behind, or just need a boost to make ends meet, will take advantage of the increased assistance,” said DWA Board President Kristin Bloomer. “As a government agency, our job is to serve the community and this fund is a great example of that work.”
The Agency is encouraging those who can pay their bill to do so – that way there isn’t a large outstanding amount when the bill comes due. Customers who want to set up payment plans should contact the Agency at 760-323-4971 ext. 129.
Other customer relief efforts have been in place since March 17, 2020 and include: no water shutoffs, waived late fees and processing fees, and no fee for phone and online credit card payments.
For those who can afford to help, United Way of the Desert and DWA welcome donations for the Help2Others fund. Donations are accepted by United Way of the Desert at www.unitedwayofthedesert.org/donate or by calling 760-323-2731 extension 100 – please mention Desert Water Agency H2O when completing your donation.
For more information or to apply for Help2Others water bill credit, go to www.dwa.org/H2O