WaterSource New Masthead


March 2012     
In This Issue
Shadow Government Controlling MWD
MWD Moves Rate Vote to April
New Website Launched
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San Diego County Water Authority


Save the Date: Water Talks

Save the date for May 1, 2012 for the next Water Talks community forum. The event will be held in the East County and will include an overview of the Colorado River, the stability of those supplies, and an update on MWD rate litigation. Visit our website for more information.  
Public Records Reveal Shadow Government Controlling MWD
"Secret Society" organized in 2009 to direct water rates and other decisions at California's largest public water district; activities coordinated with MWD's executive management

Documents obtained under the California Public Records Act from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and a majority of its member public water agencies and cities have revealed that those agencies joined together in a secret shadow government to control water rates and other decisions at California's largest public water agency and to discriminate against the San Diego County Water Authority and its ratepayers.  The members of the group have made their objectives explicit, referring to themselves as the "Secret Society" and the "Anti-San Diego Coalition," among other monikers.


The impetus for the Secret Society was to preserve a discriminatory water rate structure and improve financial advantages its ringleaders enjoy under MWD water rates, including a rich package of financial subsidies they receive from MWD for their own local water supply projects.  The records show the group routinely has been able to dictate outcomes to MWD's Board of Directors.


"MWD is supposed to be governed by its duly appointed governing body: a 37-member board of directors appointed by Metropolitan Water District's 26 member agencies," said Michael T. Hogan, chair of the San Diego County Water Authority's Board of Directors.  "But, for more than two years, major decisions at MWD have first been determined by a shadow government operating in secrecy, outside the public's view, and then rubber-stamped by a majority of MWD's Board of Directors."


To find out what some of the documents reveal, read more here.  


Metropolitan Water District of  

Southern California to Vote  

on Rate Increases in April

Board votes down motion to cut  

spending to reduce water rate increases

Rate hearing
Eileen Costa of Oceanside gives a statement
at the MWD Board meeting on March 12.

A day after hearing heartfelt testimony from several dozen speakers from the San Diego region, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Board of Directors today voted to follow its own Administrative Code and vote on adoption of its next two-year budget and rate increases in April. The recommended budget includes two more years of rate increases, "averaging" 7.5 percent for 2013 and another 5 percent in 2014.


Following the Board's decision to keep the budget and rate adoption in April, the Water Authority made a motion requesting that staff return to the Board with budget reductions that lower the proposed water rate increases. That motion failed.


"This is a particularly disappointing vote, considering the testimony of so many people at yesterday's public hearing who asked MWD to go back and take another crack at cutting expenses before it raises rates again," Michael T. Hogan, chair of the San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors, said.


MWD planned as late as Monday to rush approval of its budget and rates today - in contradiction of Section 4304 of its own Administrative Code, which requires MWD to adopt rates and charges in April. Yesterday, after listening to dozens of concerned residents, elected officials and water officials from around San Diego County protest MWD's bloated budget, continual rate increases and illegal rate structure, MWD's Finance and Insurance Committee voted to adopt MWD's 2013 and 2014 budget and rates in April, a recommendation MWD's full Board approved today.


MWD's proposed rate increases, if adopted, will more than double MWD's treated water supply rate from 2006 levels by 2014.

For more information about the Water Authority's concerns regarding MWD's rates and budget, click here.  

Water Authority Launches

Site provides greater transparency into Metropolitan Water District

MWD facts  

The Water Authority has launched a new website -
www.MWDFacts.com - to provide greater information and transparency into the powerful and secretive Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The Water Authority is a member agency of MWD, which serves more than half of California's population in a service area with an economy with a gross domestic product of greater than $1 trillion.

The new website will provide the facts and documents that the public and ratepayers deserve.

The site will frequently post new information and documents on breaking issues involving the Metropolitan Water District. To visit, click here.



The San Diego County Water Authority works through its 24 member agencies to provide a safe and reliable water supply to support the region's $186 billion economy and quality of life of 3.1 million residents.