Environmental, Resource, and

Sustainability Consulting and Contracting

Since 1990

Clearwater Group 1990-2018 Copyright

​​​​​Clearwater Group

East Bay Office: (Main Office)
229 Tewksbury Avenue
Point Richmond, CA 94801 USA

North Bay Office:

777 Grand Avenue; Suite 205

San Rafael, CA 94901 USA


Main Number: +1.510-307-9943

Fax: 510-232-2823

Olivia P. Jacobs

Mobile:     +1.510-590-1099

James A. Jacobs

Mobile: +1.510-590-1098 

Rate Studies  
Agencies need authoritative rate studies and cost control policies to remain financially healthy.  Our principals focus on long-term goal setting and strategic planning as part of the process of comprehensive rate planning, examining annual costs of providing services to customers, and the costs of operations and maintenance, the long-term capital costs and interest, and other factors such as pensions, medical benefits, etc.  to develop a comprehensive  rate evaluation.  Developing an agency-specific rate study or cost control program starts with a discussion of the agency's goals and objectives for the study. 

Types of services which benefit from professional rate studies:

  • Water

  • Wastewater
  • Stormwater
  • Electric
  • Refuse
  • Recycling
  • Flood Control
  • Irrigation
  • Natural Gas
  • Park & Recreation
  • Other

We are a small firm to provide personal and responsive service.  The principals have over 60 years of combined experience and bring in other experts to supplement the team.  Developing an agency-specific rate study or cost control program starts with a discussion of the agency's goals and objectives for the study. 

Since 1990, we have been performing cost allocation evaluations and contract review.  Since 2003, the principals have reviewed dozens of rate evaluations for changes in sewer collection fees, refuse fees, recycling fees, and wastewater treatment rates as board members of a community services district and a local wastewater treatment agency.  We perform comprehensive and defensible rate studies and cost allocation evaluations.

Asset Life
In planning out capital improvement plans, the asset life-cycle should outlast the funding cycle.  We work with engineers and contractors to determine existing asset condition.  We also work with attorneys, and others to prepare defensible rates. 

Community Advisors
We've been around for over 26 years and have provided  value to our customers in cost allocations and economic analysis.  Our team is small, but responsive. Our professional consulting practice relates to comprehensive rate studies and cost control solutions.  Our analysis compares our customer's costs with fees of similarly sized agencies, their budgets, and their costs.  We work with process engineers, bond experts, attorneys and accountants familiar with the special requirements of public agencies.

Community Meetings and Meeting Facilitation:   
Public Meetings and Goal Setting
Strategic Planning Workshops
Environmental Seminars 
Worker and Resident Training           

Agency Environmental Compliance
Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP)
Dust Control Plans
Noise and Vibration Plans
Erosion Control Plans
Health and Safety Training
NPDES Permits
Evaluating Impacts from Hydraulic Fracturing Operations 

Rate studies evaluate the differences in rates among service providers in nearby areas, and the analyses generally require collection of rate structures, revenues, budgets, schedule of capital improvement projects, service-area demographic characteristics, long-term liabilities and other related information.  

Proposition 218         
A discussion of rates in California could not occur without Proposition 218, the “Right to Vote on Taxes Act”, which was approved by California voters in November 1996.  The proposition is codified as Articles XIIIC and XIIID of the California Constitution. 

Proposition 218 establishes requirements for imposing or increasing property related taxes, assessments, fees and charges. For many years, there was no legal consensus on whether water and sewer rates met the definition of “property related fees”. In July 2006, the California Supreme Court essentially confirmed that Proposition 218 applies to water rates. There are still many unanswered questions regarding Proposition 218, and we work with expert attorneys to evaluate the defensiblity of agency-specific rates.