SAWS completes a rate study about every five years. This utility industry best practice helps ensure water and wastewater rates are:

  • Sufficient to recover operating costs.
  • Enough to maintain and invest in infrastructure needed to provide water and sewer services.
  • Based on the equitable allocation of those costs to each customer class (residential, commercial, etc.).
  • A reflection of the values of the community served.

Rate studies review both the rate structure — how the services are billed — and the actual rates charged — the amount customers are billed. SAWS contracted with Carollo Engineers, Inc. to help conduct the 2022 rate study.

As part of the rate study process, SAWS convened a group of citizen volunteers— the Rate Advisory Committee, or RAC—to help evaluate proposed updates and changes to the rate structure. The committee’s purpose was to:

  • Represent and communicate the views of the community.
  • Provide input on rate structure options and associated customer impacts.
  • Formulate a recommendation for the SAWS Board of Trustees and San Antonio City Council.

Key Findings:

  • Affordability for all SAWS customers is the primary goal for use of a reasonable amount of water.
  • The new structure incorporates additional pricing signals for discretionary outdoor water use, to further promote conservation.

pie chart - 83% lower water charges, 17% same or higher water charges


About the SAWS Rate Advisory Committee

The committee represents the utility’s service area and customers, including:

  • San Antonio City Council districts within the SAWS service area.
  • Customers outside the San Antonio city limits that are within the SAWS service area.
  • Neighborhood associations.
  • Multi-family customers.
  • Recycled water customers.
  • Major manufacturers, large business and small business.
  • Environmental and community advocacy groups.

The committee worked with SAWS staff and consultants for approximately five months to develop a fair, equitable rate structure.


View Meetings & Presentations

RAC Committee

A Discussion About Rates:
2022 Rate Study Presentation

Learn more about the proposed rate changes. (Bilingual)


Implementation Timeline

August – November 2022: Public Outreach
November 2022: Present rate structure recommendations to Board for consideration and approval, present Board-approved rate structure recommendations to San Antonio City Council for consideration and approval
January 2023: Implement approved rate structure changes


Download Rate Study Handout