RIVERSIDE, CA – On Friday, May 14, Fitch Ratings announced an upgrade to Western Municipal Water District’s (Western) credit rating to ‘AAA’ from ‘AA+.’ With many public agencies facing difficult financial situations because of the ongoing worldwide pandemic, Western’s financial stability and security has been reconfirmed by this global rating agency.
“Western is committed to using customer dollars responsibly to build, monitor and maintain the production, distribution and collection systems that safely and reliably deliver on-demand water and wastewater (sewer) services on a daily basis,” said General Manager Craig Miller.
The upgraded rating will result in lower interest rates for Western when issuing bonds for critical system projects, which speaks to Western’s ability to continue to provide safe, reliable, high-quality water while keeping rates as low as possible for customers. The investment grade rating is the highest one possible from Fitch Ratings and is held by only a limited number of water agencies in California.
Western continues to be recognized for its financial budgeting and reporting practices. Western recently received the California Society of Municipal Financial Officers (CSMFO) Operating Budget Excellence Award for its FY 20-21 and FY 21-22 Biennial Budget. The CSMFO is California’s premier statewide association that promotes excellence in financial management through innovation, continuing education, and the professional development of its’ members. The CSMFO Budget Awards Program is designed to recognize those agencies that have prepared a budget document that meets the highest criteria and standards applied to municipal budgeting.
“This is good news for our customers and something the Board of Directors has worked hard to achieve on behalf of the communities we serve,” said Board President Director Brenda Dennstedt. “The rating upgrade is a testament to Western’s investment in a skilled, professional team that wisely manages customer dollars transparently and in a way that secures our ability to reliably provide services now, and for future generations.”
Western’s financial practices, comprehensive budget documents and a Budget-in-Brief are available to the public online. Learn more about Western’s financial policies and practices at wmwd.com/FinancialPolicies. For more information about Western’s budget, visit wmwd.com/Budgets.
Western Municipal Water District is one of the largest public agencies in Riverside County, providing water and wastewater (sewer) services to nearly a million people, both retail and wholesale customers who live, work and play within 527 square miles in one of California’s most populous regions. Learn more: wmwd.com.