JCSD Explaining Water Charges


The following PDF is a detailed and technical explanation and the basis of the Julian Community Services District (JCSD) Water Charges. The essay, Water the facts of life, explains the responsibility of JCSD employees and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from their customers.

CSD Cost Analysis PDF


Prepared by the Staff and Directors of the Julian Community Services District (Rev. 3/11/2014)

The Julian Community Services District is the agency responsible for providing water to Julian customers within the district.  The water is provided through a system of wells, pumps, treatment facilities, pipes and tanks which carry water from the wells to each customer.  The cost of repairing, maintaining, and constructing this system is substantial.  Money from the sales of water cannot be used to pay off loans and bonds issued by the State of California for such repairs, maintenance and construction.  To make certain there is sufficient money for repairs, maintenance and construction, the District sells EDU’s.


Q. What’s an EDU?

A. EDU is short for Equivalent Dwelling Unit. It is a unit of measure equal to 160 gallons of water per day, which has been determined by the JCSD to be the average rate of consumption by residential customers within the District, based on several professional surveys performed over the last 10 years.

Q. What triggers an EDU charge?

A. Each property in the District is allocated a number of EDUs and each EDU is equal to 160 gallons of water per day. From January to December of 1996, the water use of each customer was measured and averaged, and the corresponding number of EDU’s was “allocated”.  This allocation is referred to as the “baseline”.  A consumer may use up to 79 gallons of water per day over their baseline without an additional EDU charge.  When the average annual water use on a parcel exceeds its baseline from 80 to 159 gallons per day, one-half an EDU is charged, when the annual average use exceeds from 160 to 239 gallons per day, 1 EDU is charged.  When the average annual use goes over 239 extra gallons per day, 1½ EDU’s are charged and so on.

Q. Are there any exceptions?

A. Yes. When water use increases are due to accidents such as leaks from frozen pipes, theft or any other event causing a “spike” in water use which is not continuous and sustained.

Q. So, if I have been regularly using more than 160 gallons a day, why do I have to buy another EDU? Why can’t I just pay a higher water bill?

A. The District cannot afford to build, maintain and improve our water system (the facilities, existing and planned, that provide water to you) solely from the revenue generated by the sale of water. A facilities charge was developed in the late 1980s, authorized by California State law, to distribute equally and fairly the ongoing cost of the facilities based on the amount of demand each user places on the system.

Q. When I buy an EDU, what, exactly, am I getting for my money?

A. An EDU is similar to a share of ownership in the District’s facilities: it is your right to a specific amount of water which attaches to a specific parcel of property. The number of EDU’s allocated to a specific parcel remain with the parcel and enhance the value and potential of that parcel.  You are making an investment in the District and your own real estate and assisting the District in assuring a continued supply of water to your property.

Q. How was the price of the EDU’s determined?

A. The price of an EDU is $7,078. This price has been carefully calculated to approximate the actual cost of repairing, maintaining and constructing the facilities required to provide a clean and abundant water supply to each water customer.  Considering the prices of EDU’s in surrounding communities, the cost of an EDU is average.  In Ramona the cost of an EDU ranges from $10,878 to $51,867; in Descanso, the cost starts at $4,521.16 and in neighboring Majestic Pines, the residential fee is $9,500.

Q. What is the money used for?

A. Parcels using extra water increase the burden on the water system and require the construction of new facilities to meet the increased demand. The money from the sale of EDU’s is deposited into a special fund and used only for the repair and construction of water facilities.

Throughout the 1990s and the 2000s, the District Board and staff have worked to provide our customers with a safe and continuous supply of water and to upgrade our system to ensure that these standards will be maintained in the future.

District Improvements include:
  • The Volcan Project of 17 acres, 3 wells and a booster station to improve the quality of the District’s water supply.
  • Acquisition of 5 acres of property and a well adjacent to Jess Martin Park.
  • A complete upgrade of the District’s Water Treatment Plant has been completed.
  • Replacement of undersized steel distribution lines throughout town where needed.  This project along Payson and Lot A Road was completed in 2010.
  • Completion of engineering and design for the replacement of the old steel water line on Highway 78 from C Street to Ray Redding Continuation School and the placement of a 200,000 gallon storage tank on District acquired property.
  • Extension of 6-inch main from Julian Elementary School to County Road Station and in B Street from Main Street to Coleman Creek Village.
  • Installation of 14 new fire hydrants
  • Installation of emergency generators to provide power to the District’s wells, treatment plant and office.
  • With all the improvements, the District’s water rates have remained the same since 2010.

Totals based on data collected from 2009 – 2010 EDU Study

Government Users:
  • 14 Customers
  • County Facilities, Fire Stations, and Schools
  • (7.4% of total customers)
  • 327,332 Cu. Ft.
  • 2,448,443 Gallons
  • 14% of the total water usage for the study period.
Commercial Users:
  • 75 Customers = (63 Businesses + 12 Multi residence occupancies)
  • (39.9% of total customers)
  • 1,439,162 Cu. Ft.
  • 10,764,932 Gallons
  • 61.8% of the total water usage for the study period.
Residential Users:
  • 103 Customers
  • Single Family Dwellings
  • (52.7% of total customers)
  • 562,566 Cu. Ft.
  • 4,207,994 Gallons
  • 24.2% of the total water usage for the study period.


A licensed CPA firm audits the District annually.  Complete, detailed information, including the District Budget, is on file at the District Office.  Copies are available to customers on request.