LOS ANGELES -- Moody's Investors Service last week said it has raised its rating to AA from A1 on San Diego County Water Authority certificates of participation.

"The authority's large and economically strong customer base, the implementation of new and increased fees, and the practice of passing on all [wholesale] rate increases to its customers should continue to provide strong margins of financial security," Moody's said in a statement.

The authority plans a negotiated sale of $300 million cerfiticates of participation on Nov. 6. Including the upcoming sale, the authority will have $400 million of certificates outstanding.

Moody's said that "strong management has provided stable financial operations despite current drought conditions and reductions in water sales through mandatory conservation efforts."

Moody's also upgraded the authority's $21.17 million of general obligation debt outstanding to Aaa from Aa, reflecting in part the minimal amount of debt in relation to the size of operations.

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