Plenty of spending, spinning, and soaking ratepayers – but not nearly enough truth and transparency.
Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is still reeling from a blockbuster exposé in the Los Angeles Times that revealed MWD’s “turf removal rebate program” suffered from gross mismanagement, poor planning, and lax oversight.
While a few MWD water users were lucky enough to receive turf rebates large enough to pay for a week-long cruise to Mexico, the real impact for water users is higher water bills. This includes a large number of low-income homeowners.
MWD also says it was able to fund the program without raising water rates. “Metropolitan in 2015 approved the largest turf removal, water conservation and public outreach program in the United States. The $450 million program, together with local rebate programs, brought total regional investments to more than half billion dollars over two years without impacting water rates.”
– MWD Talking Points, Top-Line Messages (emphasis added)
How would a public water agency come up with $450 million “without impacting water rates”?
Where does MWD get that money? From water users of course. In fact, MWD raised rates more than necessary from 2012-15, resulting in ratepayers being overcharged by $847.2 million.
To daylight MWD’s out-of-control spending and lack of transparency, the San Diego County Water Authority has sent letters to more than 1,000 public officials in Southern California to open a dialog and daylight MWD’s questionable spending decisions with ratepayer money.
Read a sample of the January 26, 2017 letter here: