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Special Edition - December 17, 2013 
In This Issue
MWD Rate Case Heads to Trial
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San Diego County Water Authority

Trial Begins Today in Water Authority's Lawsuits Challenging MWD's Rates



Today, lawyers for the San Diego County Water Authority will argue in San Francisco Superior Court for overturning illegal rates charged by the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, commencing a five-day trial that has financial implications for water ratepayers across the region and state.


In opening statements before Judge Curtis E.A. Karnow, the Water Authority's attorneys will argue that MWD's rates don't align with the costs of the services it provides.  Numerous California statutes, the California Constitution and common law all require that public agencies such as MWD set their rates based on the actual costs of the services they provide.


The first phase of the trial is expected to run through Dec. 23. It will focus on the challenges to MWD's rates for 2011 through 2014 in two cases that have been coordinated for trial. A second, yet-to-be-scheduled phase of the trial would address the Water Authority's claim that MWD miscalculates San Diego's preferential rights to MWD water, and the Water Authority's claim that MWD breached the contract it signed with the Water Authority promising to charge only lawful rates for the transportation of its Colorado River water.


The trial's outcome will have a major impact on San Diego County residents and businesses alike, which prompted dozens of public agencies, business groups and community organizations to formally support the Water Authority's litigation against MWD.

Under MWD's current rates, the region's ratepayers will be overcharged this year by $57 million - overcharges that could grow to more than $217 million annually by 2021 and ultimately exceed a combined $2 billion. MWD's flawed rates create overcharges for San Diego County for the transportation of water and corresponding undercharges for the water MWD sells to its member agencies. 


To read more about the rate challenges, click here.

To read news coverage about the trial, 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 $188 billion economy and quality of life of 3.1 million residents.