Fact vs. Fiction: MWD Needs to Raise your Water Rates. Really?

MWD Fiction: Recent increases in MWD water rates and charges are driven primarily by the need to maintain and repair important MWD water facilities such as the Colorado River Aqueduct.

Welcome to Fact vs. Fiction, where MWD fictions run headlong into the facts. Today’s fiction focuses on MWD’s assertion that recent increases in its water rates have been driven primarily by increasing costs of its capital improvement program – taking care of important MWD water facilities such as the Colorado River Aqueduct.

FACT:  MWD’s annual Capital Investment Plan (CIP) would actually have declined since 2006, from $506 million in 2006 to $295 million in 2014, as proposed. This means that MWD is spending less, not more, on its capital facilities. During this same time period, MWD’s water rate increases have increased substantially. Why? Although water sales have dropped by 27% since 2006, MWD’s Operations and Maintenance (O&M) budget has grown by 36%.

All of the numbers in the following table come from official MWD documents. “MAF” = Million Acre Feet.

Here’s the detail:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stubborn things, facts are.
Check back for the next installment of Fact vs. Fiction.