Despite its mission to provide water in an “economically responsible way,” the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s unrestrained fiscal practices have led to needlessly high water rates for millions of families and businesses.
Court Rules MWD’s Rates are Illegal
MWD’s water rates have been declared illegal by a California Superior Court. A 2015 ruling found that MWD set illegal rates from 2011-2014, forcing San Diego County ratepayers to subsidize other MWD services and water rates. MWD was ordered to pay the Water Authority more than $243 million and to set only legal rates in the future. The case is pending before an appellate court and a decision is expected later this year. Read more about the court case here:
MWD’s Unplanned, Unbudgeted Spending is Out of Control
The court ruling addresses the illegality of MWD’s rates, but does nothing to rein in its spending and borrowing habits that are driving water rates higher each year. Between 2013-2016, MWD overspent its budget by $1.2 billion. This unplanned spending included questionable land purchases in Northern California without appraisals and spending $420 million on turf replacement. MWD then authorized $900 million in unplanned debt to help cover its overspending. MWD claimed these actions would not impact water rates, but its rates continue to rise each year – doubling over the past decade without a commensurate increase in reliability.
MWD Plans to Spend Billions for Supplies Customers Don’t Need
MWD’s own data show that its existing programs and projects can meet demand projections under all of the hydrological conditions assessed in its 2015 Urban Water Management Plan through 2040. Despite sufficient supplies, MWD is proposing to spend billions of dollars to develop additional supplies, which threatens to waste ratepayer dollars and strand major assets, driving up water rates in the process. Read the full report here:
MWD’s Actions Impact San Diego
Unnecessarily high water rates imposed by MWD are a real challenge to our economy and quality of life. Our region suffers when the cost of essential services like water is higher than it needs to be, causing families to struggle and businesses to relocate or expand elsewhere. MWD needs to set legal rates and stop its unnecessary spending. It is not acceptable that San Diegans pay more than they should for water.
Regional leaders and the Water Authority are Fighting for San Diego Ratepayers
The Water Authority is fighting to stop MWD’s out-of-control spending and borrowing, and ensure the San Diego region has long-term access to affordable and reliable water supplies.
Join the Water Authority by sending an email to the MWD Board to stop the spending, by clicking here: