Why do I have to fill out the Owner’s Water Use Statement (OWUS) every year?

The District Act requires the Owner’s Water Use Statement (OWUS) be completed annually.  The District uses the OWUS to determine the quantity of acre-feet to be used in groundwater & surface water bills, as well as the number of units for groundwater assessment.  The OWUS is pre-filled with the accounts prior year information. Please review the OWUS for accuracy, make any necessary changes and return the completed statement to the District with your signature, date and telephone number. Please note, the signed statement is submitted under penalty of perjury.

What are the 2021 water rates?

  • Groundwater rate per acre-foot is $5.53
  • Surface Water rate per acre-foot is $23.00
  • Domestic Unit Assessment rate per unit (occupied or not) is $46.50
  • M&I rate is $344.95 per acre-foot ($3.60 for Groundwater Production Assessment plus $341.35 for Rate Equalization)
  • Out-of-District rate is the cost of water designated under the purchase contract PLUS a charge up to the New Melones Conveyance System wheeling rate of $27.81 per acre-foot of water.

When is the OWUS/Bill due?

  • The completed OWUS is due to the District by January 15th. The account will be charged a 5% penalty if the OWUS is not submitted by January 15th.
  • The Progress Bill payment is due to the District October 31st. The account is charged a 5% penalty if payment is not submitted by October 31st.
  • The Final Bill/Domestic Unit Assessment payment is due April 30th. The account is charged a 5% penalty if payment is not submitted by April 30th.
  • Per the District Act, accounts with unpaid balances in August are charged a 5% penalty and will be sent to San Joaquin County and attached to the property tax.

Why do I have to pay for groundwater?

  • The California Legislature recognizes that the water supplies in the groundwater basin within Eastern San Joaquin County, which Stockton East Water District is a part of, are insufficient to meet the water demands of the area. Excessive groundwater pumping has seriously depleted the groundwater storage, as seen by declining groundwater levels.  Excessive pumping has also caused saltwater intrusion, deteriorating water quality and the destruction of a groundwater basin. Further excessive pumping, without proper management of the groundwater basin and supplemental surface water supplies, is certain to destroy the usefulness of a major portion of the groundwater basin and endanger the health and welfare of the District.
  • Stockton East Water District was formed by a special action of the California Legislature.  The District’s purpose is to provide supplemental surface water to lessen the groundwater overdraft while seeking additional solutions to improve groundwater conditions. To this end, the District has secured surface water supplies from New Hogan Reservoir, New Melones Reservoir and at times, Transfer Water from Oakdale Irrigation District/South San Joaquin Irrigation District. The District constructed a Treatment Plant to supply surface water to the Stockton Urban Area, which as a result, has seen groundwater levels under the Stockton urban area rise. The District has constructed agricultural distribution systems and encouraged surface water use for agriculture.
  • The District continues to seek groundwater overdraft and saline intrusion problem solutions through recharge projects by acquiring additional surface water and protecting existing water rights. This work benefits all who depend on groundwater. The District assesses groundwater and sells surface water to generate revenue to operate the District and continue its mission.

Why am I assessed for groundwater?

The District’s purpose is to provide supplemental surface water to lessen the groundwater overdraft and seek solutions to restore and protect the groundwater basin. This work benefits all groundwater users. The District assesses groundwater and sells surface water to generate revenue to operate the District and continue its mission.

How does the District benefit my well?

Groundwater supplies are insufficient to meet the water demands in the District. This is not just a District problem, but also a regional problem that includes all of the East San Joaquin Groundwater Basin. Excessive groundwater pumping has caused declining groundwater levels and saltwater intrusion. The District imported supplemental surface water slows these negative impacts. This benefits all groundwater users and the quality of groundwater in your well.


Please visit the History page of the District’s website for additional information about the District and to view the enabling legislation, referred to as the “District Act”.