WaterSource New Masthead


March 10, 2014  
In This Issue
MWD Overcharges
Dry Conditions Continue
Garden Friendly Plant Fairs
Latest Channel
H2O Videos
Press Conference - Landmark Ruling in MWD Rate Challenge
Press Conference - Landmark Ruling in MWD Rate Challenge

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San Diego County Water Authority

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New Website Tool Provides Real-Time Calculation of MWD Overcharges

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is collecting excess funds from Southern California water ratepayers at the rate of about $707,000 a day, according to new data posted at mwdfacts.com.  


The San Diego County Water Authority posted the real-time data counter online to help water ratepayers easily access information about MWD's excess revenue collection and to see the impact on their water agency or city. Residents in MWD's 5,200-square-mile service area can use a pull-down menu to see how much their water agency or city is being overcharged by MWD and alert their elected officials. The Water Authority is one of MWD's 26 member agencies.  


MWD's own financial documents show that the agency is on pace to amass cash reserves of $800 million - an amount that will reach $320 million above its board-adopted maximum reserve limit - by the end of June 2014.  


Despite this over-collection, MWD is again proposing to raise rates and property taxes in 2015 and 2016, which will likely result in millions more excess revenue. MWD is holding public hearings on proposed rate and property tax increases at noon March 11 at its downtown Los Angeles headquarters, and the agency plans to adopt rate and tax increases at its April 8 meeting.


Click here for additional information.  

Drought continues despite recent rains: Governor Signs Drought Relief Bill
Lake Oroville, one of the reservoirs on the State Water Project system, currently at 39% capacity.

Recent rains helped to water landscapes in our region and added a little bit to state snowpack levels, but California remains locked in drought.

State of California water managers said heavy rain and snow would have to fall throughout the state very frequently from now until May to reach average annual rain and snowfall levels. Even if that were to occur, California would remain in a drought condition due to low water supplies from the two previous dry years.

There is good news -- on March 1, Governor Jerry Brown signed a $687 million drought relief package. The funds will be used to support a variety of drought relief programs throughout California, including money for housing and food for workers directly impacted by the drought, funds for projects to help local communities more efficiently capture and manage water and funding for securing emergency drinking water supplies for drought-impacted communities. The Water Authority and its member agencies will be pursuing a portion of the package's funding to support several local supply and conservation programs.

The Water Authority's Board of Directors on Feb. 13 formally activated the agency's Water Shortage and Drought Response Plan and called for increased voluntary conservation to preserve stored water reserves in Southern California in case dry conditions continue into 2015.  Additional water savings can also provide relief for other areas of the state more significantly affected by the drought by reducing the San Diego region's need for imported water.

Keep Your Landscape Looking Great During Drought Watch

If you have been looking around your yard and wondering where you could be more water-efficient with your landscaping choices, the San Diego County Garden Friendly Plant Fairs could be just what you need!

Join the Water Authority and our member agencies at The Home Depot locations around the county this spring to learn more about water-efficient irrigation supplies and low-water-use plants. SDG&E will also be on hand to highlight programs, tools and services available to help save water and energy.

During the plant fairs, specially marked containers of low-water-use plants such as lavender, bougainvillea, society garlic, rosemary and more will be discounted at select The Home Depot stores.

The plant fair partnership is designed to increase adoption of WaterSmart landscapes that are appropriate for San Diego County's semi-arid climate. Outdoor water-use efficiency is a major regional goal because more than half of the water used in a typical home is used outdoors. 


In addition to the plant fairs, the Water Authority offers an incentive program for residents and businesses who replace turf grass with water-efficient plants.  Starting in April, the Water Authority also is sponsoring a new series of free classes around the region to help residents turn conventional yards into WaterSmart landscaping showcases. 


Visit the WaterSmart website to see all of the Water Authority's programs and incentives.  


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 $191 billion economy and quality of life of 3.1 million residents.