Water Authority Board Approves Filing a Lawsuit Against Metropolitan Water District Challenging Illegal Water Rates
MWD rate structure discourages water conservation and local water supply development
The San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors today unanimously approved filing suit against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California challenging the 2011 and 2012 water rates that MWD adopted in April.
"MWD improperly overcharges the Water Authority and its ratepayers in violation of California law," said Claude A. "Bud" Lewis, chair of the Water Authority's Board of Directors. "MWD charges too much for using its facilities to transport water and spends those revenues to subsidize the water supply costs of other MWD member agencies. This unlawful rate structure not only causes significant harm to San Diego County's ratepayers, it hampers efforts to improve long-term water supply reliability for all of Southern California by discouraging conservation and local water supply development."
At the center of this dispute is how MWD allocates State Water Project and other water supply costs among its different rate categories. MWD purchases more than half of its water from the State Water Project under a water supply contract with the Department of Water Resources. Instead of treating these purchases as a cost of water, MWD allocates nearly 80 percent of this cost to charges it imposes for the transportation of water through MWD facilities.
The Water Authority believes this discriminates against the Water Authority, which is the single largest user of MWD transportation services. The Water Authority uses MWD facilities to transport Colorado River water it purchases under water conservation agreements with the Imperial Irrigation District and also from lining portions of the All American and Coachella Canals.
for the full news release.
for full details on the MWD rate dispute.