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Why can't you just forgive my bill?

The District unfortunately cannot just waive your bills. Due to Prop. 218, approved by state voters in November 1996, which prohibits government agencies from allowing some customers to subsidize other customers. Doing so would be illegal for the District since we are a non-profit, government agency. We don’t make a penny on the water we sell. The reason electric companies, phone companies and other utilities can offer discounts and bill forgiveness is because they are for-profit agencies.

However, there are some organizations out there that may be able to help you through these tough times.

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The County’s 2021 Emergency Rent and Utilities Assistance Program (ERAP) helps eligible households in qualifying areas who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program provides payment assistance for renters who need help with rent and utilities. Applications will be accepted until funds are no longer available. Go to San Diego County Community Services for more details.

211: is a 24-hour phone referral service for people needing assistance with paying utility bills, food, health services, domestic violence assistance, shelter, and many other needs. When you call, you get an actual human on the phone who will do a database search to help you find solutions. Often, water bill funding is quickly depleted in San Diego County, but 211 researchers can help find potential funding for other utilities to offset costs. Go to for more details.

Modest Needs Foundation: is a grant program. It is for unusual or emergency situations, and if approved, Modest Needs would pay the bill in its entirety. You would not be expected to repay the grant. For more details go to their website at

San Diego County United Way: is intended to help with utility bills, rent, and mortgage payments. It’s for low-wage workers who need support for a limited but undetermined length of time. Click on the link to find out more.

Payment Plans: RMWD can work with you to make creative payment plans, stretching payments out over a year if necessary. Please give us a call at 760-728-1178 and we'll be happy to assist you.