|Legal Challenges to MWD |
Rates Moving Forward
On Monday, July 2, the judge hearing the Water Authority's legal challenge to MWD's rates issued a ruling that clears the way for the lawsuit to move forward. MWD had filed a series of pre-trial motions aimed at dismissing the case. Judge Richard Kramer overruled the demurrer in its entirety. He also denied MWD's motion to strike language from the Water Authority's petition that described a pattern of misconduct by MWD and a majority of its member agencies to discriminate against San Diego County and its ratepayers.
In addition, the Water Authority filed a new lawsuit in June challenging MWD's recently approved rates for 2013 and 2014. The original lawsuit, filed in 2010, addresses water rates for 2011 and 2012. While issues raised in the new lawsuit are similar, it was necessary to file an additional lawsuit because the original issues had not been resolved. The newly approved rates will amount to more than $50 million annually to San Diego County ratepayers.
The next hearing on the case will take place on August 3.
For more information on the new lawsuit regarding 2013 and 2014 rates, click here.
To learn more about the original lawsuit, click here.
|Water Rates Approved for 2013 |The Water Authority Board has approved wholesale water rates for 2013. The treated water rate will increase by 9.7 percent. Actual changes to an individual's water bill will vary, depending upon the mix of water their local agency purchases from the Water Authority and each agency's own rate-setting decisions in the next few months.
Three main factors that are driving the increases for 2013 are:
- Increased costs from MWD (these make up approximately 48 percent of the rate increase)
- Increased debt service costs that pay for $3.5 billion investments in major infrastructure projects
- An increase in quantity and price of the purchase of supplies from the Imperial Irrigation District
The Water Authority has taken aggressive steps to cut its own costs. Measures include a 16 percent workforce reduction, deferral of 14 construction projects, reduced spending in the operating budget, and refunding bonds to lower debt costs.
To learn more about water rates and additional cost saving measures, click here.
| Free WaterSmart Checkups |
Looking for ways to save water and control costs? One helpful resource is just a click away.
Owners or managers of commercial, multifamily, industrial, public or single-family properties can apply online for a FREE WaterSmart Checkup at www.watersmartcheckup.org. A WaterSmart Checkup provides site-specific, landscape water-saving recommendations from a certified irrigation professional (Single-family home checkups also include recommendations to increase indoor water use efficiency.) There is no obligation to implement recommendations.
Several different services are available, and the program will match your property to the best available option. Funding is limited and certain eligibility requirements apply.
WaterSmart Checkups made possible by the San Diego County Water Authority and its participating member agencies.
| San Vicente Dam Raise Hits Milestone|
Construction of the San Vicente Dam Raise has surpassed the height of the existing dam. Crews are now placing concrete above the height of the existing dam and are well on their way to raising the dam to its new height of 337 feet.
The project is the largest dam raise in the United States and will be the tallest roller-compacted concrete dam raise in the world.
The original dam stood at 220 feet and had the capacity to store 90,000 acre feet of water. Built by the city of San Diego in 1943, the reservoir was the first in the county to receive imported water in 1947.
When construction is complete, the dam will hold up to 242,000 acre feet of water. The additional storage will be owned by the Water Authority and used to maintain water reserves for emergencies and to help manage water supplies through dry years.
To learn more about this important milestone, check out the video from Channel H2O.