WaterSource New Masthead


July 15, 2015   
In This Issue
Court Awards $188.3 Million Plus Interest to Water Authority in Rate Case Victory

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San Diego County Water Authority

Court Awards $188.3 Million
Plus Interest to Water Authority
in Rate Case Victory

Trial court's tentative rulings also find MWD
under-calculated Water Authority's right
to MWD water supplies 


A San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled today in a tentative decision that he would require the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to pay the Water Authority $188.3 million plus interest for illegal water rates MWD charged from 2011 to 2014.


Water Authority Board Chair Mark Weston announces the ruling at a Wednesday evening news conference.


"San Diego has proven by a preponderance of the evidence that it was in fact damaged by paying conveyance rates that were higher than Met could have set pursuant to applicable law and regulation," Judge Curtis E.A. Karnow wrote in today's tentative decision.


In April 2014, Judge Karnow ruled that MWD's 2011-2014 rates violated California statutes and common law that require public water agencies to limit the rates they charge to the costs of providing their services. He also ruled that MWD's 2013 and 2014 rates violated Proposition 26, passed by California voters in November 2010 and enshrined in Articles 13A and 13C of the California Constitution. Proposition 26 shifted the burden to public agencies to prove they are not charging more than the actual cost of the services they provide. Judge Karnow invalidated MWD's 2011-2014 rates because they violated all these provisions of law. 


"This decision is a major victory for the San Diego region - not just the Water Authority, but our many partners who have supported this rate case from the start," said Mark Weston, chair of the Water Authority's Board of Directors. "Judge Karnow's tentative award is a clear signal that MWD has been living outside the law and will need to reform its rates going forward. Over decades, this ruling will save San Diego County ratepayers billions of dollars."


In another pivotal tentative ruling, Judge Karnow said MWD has been under-calculating the Water Authority's preferential right to MWD water supplies.

For additional information about the decision, 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 $206 billion economy and quality of life of 3.1 million residents.