Fitch reaffirms Water Replenishment District's 'AA+' bond rating
Fitch Ratings has re-graded the Water Replenishment District of Southern California with an 'AA+' rating, reaffirming the water agency's strong financial standing.
LAKEWOOD, CA, July 17, 2015 -- Fitch Ratings, a global credit rating agency, has re-graded the Water Replenishment District (WRD) of Southern California with an 'AA+' rating, reaffirming the water agency's strong financial standing. The rating is positive news for the four million residents served by the WRD, as California's largest groundwater agency prepares to undertake major infrastructure projects later this year in a first-of-its-kind effort to free itself from the need of imported water to refill and permanently sustain local groundwater basins.
"The WRD Board of Directors and staff are delighted to maintain such a high rating from an international leader in the ratings services industry," said WRD Board Treasurer Albert Robles. "This rating is nothing less than a reflection of the deep commitment WRD has taken over the past several years to guarantee that groundwater purveyors and ratepayers in our district can count on sound financial management practices necessary to keep groundwater rates affordable."
The positive credit rating will allow the WRD to obtain among the lowest possible bond rates to fund upcoming groundwater infrastructure projects aimed at making the 43-city service area completely free of imported water to replenish the Central and West Coast Groundwater Basins managed by the WRD. Once completed, the Groundwater Reliability Improvement Program (GRIP) and the Goldsworthy Desalter expansion will contribute to ensure a locally sustainable groundwater supply that will offset the need for expensive and interruptible sources of imported water from Northern California and the Colorado River.
"WRD's continued strong credit rating will translate into millions of dollars in savings for critical projects necessary to secure the future water needs of our region's four million residents," said WRD Board President Sergio Calderon. "As lower annual rainfalls become the new normal, locally sustainable sources of groundwater will become increasingly important to satisfy demand." With recent legal challenges resolved, the WRD's financial outlook has never been stronger and it remains one of the few agencies to achieve and maintain an 'AA+' rating. Fitch attributes the rating to the WRD's financial strength, stability, and sound fiscal management.
The Water Replenishment District of Southern California is the regional groundwater management agency that protects and preserves the quantity and quality of groundwater for two of the most utilized urban basins in the State of California. The service area is home to over 4 million residents, nearly half of Los Angeles County, across 43 cities. WRD is governed by a publicly elected Board of Directors which includes Willard H. Murray, Jr., Robert Katherman, Lynn Dymally, Sergio Calderon, and Albert Robles. For more information, visit www.wrd.org.