Two top rating agencies reaffirm Metropolitan’s strong credit ratings

News for Immediate Release__
Two top rating agencies reaffirm Metropolitan’s strong credit ratings
April 18, 2024

Prudent financial policies, comprehensive resource planning in district’s new biennial budget cited as foundation of ratings from S&P, Moody’s

A week after its governing board adopted a financially responsible two-year budget, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has once again earned excellent credit ratings from two of the nation’s top rating agencies.

In advance of Metropolitan’s pricing of approximately $360 million of senior lien revenue bonds next week, S&P Global Ratings on Wednesday (April 17) reaffirmed Metropolitan’s AAA rating and Moody’s recently reaffirmed the agency’s Aa1 rating.

Metropolitan board Chair Adán Ortega, Jr. attributed the ratings to the continued financial strength and investor confidence in Metropolitan’s long-term ability to deliver safe and reliable water to Southern California, through strategic planning and resource management.

“Maintaining Metropolitan’s fiscal integrity is of utmost importance to our board as we help the region adapt to climate change through investments in reliable water supplies,” Ortega said. “High credit ratings are critical as we look to finance these strategic investments.”

With its AAA rating, S&P cited Metropolitan’s comprehensive resource planning, well-defined risk-management practices and financial policies. Moody’s recognized the agency’s recently approved two-year budget, including rate increases and a planned property tax increase, in reaffirming its Aa1 rating. The third top rating agency, Fitch, is expected to provide a rating for Metropolitan’s subordinate lien bonds late next month.

“Our board took bold action last week, adopting a budget that raises needed revenues and balances cost containment measures with the need to meet head-on the challenges brought by climate change and rising costs due to inflation,” said Metropolitan Director Tim Smith, chair of the board’s Finance and Asset Management Committee. “These ratings validate that we are headed in the right direction” 

Metropolitan General Manager Adel Hagekhalil agreed.


“As Metropolitan leads the way in climate adaptation, having strong and reliable financial resources to invest in resiliency and adaptation, while ensuring equity and affordability, is essential to the future of the communities we serve, as we provide safe reliable water for all with no one left behind,” Hagekhalil said.


The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative that, along with its 26 cities and retail suppliers, provides water for 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.