CCWD2017 Annual Report
Welcome Video Transcript
Hello, I’m Jerry Brown, general manager of Contra Costa Water District. Welcome to the 2017 Annual Report website.

Within these pages, you’ll read about the accomplishments we achieved, all made possible through the support of our ratepayers and talents of our workforce. As an urban water supplier, our purpose is to deliver a reliable supply of water to those we serve. We take our jobs very seriously knowing that our service enables life, protects public health and keeps the economy humming.

In fiscal year 2017, we saw record rain and snowfall which gave us an opportunity to harvest nature’s bounty and prepare our water stores for the next drought. We worked a record number of 263 days without a lost-time injury, which sets an important milestone in our safety culture transformation. And we made real progress on the next phase of the Los Vaqueros Expansion Project, when we submitted a $434 million funding application for state money along with a coalition of local agency partners.

If this project goes forward we would get substantial net income and use that to support our water system. We would retain all of our existing benefits and controls in the reservoir, and we would receive the reliability benefits of regional interconnectivity. We will not go forward without partners.

Behind these highlights, this was a year about strengthening our foundation and taking care of our core business. I like to call it “the silent service.” We tackled the projects that make us sustainable as an organization. We responded to storm damage throughout our service area, working diligently to keep our facilities safe and our customers in service. We did a great job of that. During the first quarter of fiscal year 2018, we kept the water in service 99.9% of the time. We made improvements to critical pieces of older infrastructure like the shortcut pipeline and the Contra Costa Canal. We strengthened our finances by paying off debt principal, selling surplus property for a gain and refinancing debt without extending its repayment schedule.

We still have work to do here. Our water stores are replenished, but our financial reserves are being depleted from the drought and need to be rebuilt for the next one. We implemented technologies that have modernized a lot of our work processes. We’re seeing less than three years payback on these investments.

My prediction is that water saving behaviors learned in the recent drought will linger well into the future. And that is a good thing. Our local community is starting to think differently about water, and we’ve always valued reliable service. Your water provider is adapting to this new normal use pattern. When our customers change the way they use water, it radically changes the way water service is delivered. This and recent court decisions caused us to launch an effort to evaluate our pricing with the goal of ensuring our actual costs are appropriately allocated, and fairly distributed, across customer classes. At the same time, we rolled out a pilot project of smart meters and a free web-based user platform, so customers can better monitor and track their new water use habits and avoid costly leaks.

In the end, what drives all of our efforts is meeting the customer’s needs. We come to work every day to provide a reliable supply of high-quality drinking water in an environmentally responsible manner at the lowest cost possible. We know you depend on us and we’re honored to do this for you every minute of every day.

On behalf of everyone at Contra Costa Water District, thanks for taking the time to read this report and to learn about everything we’ve accomplished.