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County Supervisors Warn about Flawed Business Practices at MWD

Two San Diego County Supervisors have issued an alert to their colleagues in five other Southern California counties warning that the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has overcharged residents by hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Although MWD is a public agency, little attention has been paid to its flawed business practices and uncontrolled spending that have contributed to significant water rate increases in recent years,” said Dianne Jacob, chairwoman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, and Kristin Gaspar, vice chairwoman of the board. “Water bills will continue to be higher than necessary in our communities until MWD’s out-of-control spending can be stopped.”

Click here to read the full letter.

Stop the Spending! MWD is Overcharging for Water

Led by the San Diego County Water Authority, a broad coalition of civic, community and business leaders has joined together to launch the “Stop the Spending!” campaign. In a unified voice, we call on MWD to correct its illegal rate structure, stop its unnecessary spending and bring an end to its continual rate increases.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California rates have doubled over the past decade and it overspent its budget by $1.2 billion in recent years. This has led to needlessly high water bills for families and businesses throughout Southern California.

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MWD’s Overspending Impacts Local Southern Californian Communities

Unnecessarily high water rates imposed by MWD are a real challenge to the economy and quality of life. Southern California residents and businesses suffer when the cost for essential services like water is higher than necessary, 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 Southern Californians pay higher water rates that are illegal and are not needed to ensure water reliability now and in the future.

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 San Diego County 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:

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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.
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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:
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Regional leaders and the Water Authority are Fighting for Southern California Ratepayers

The Water Authority is fighting to stop MWD’s out-of-control spending and borrowing, and ensure   reliable water supplies and affordable water supplies.

Join the Water Authority by sending an email to the MWD Board to stop the spending, by clicking here: