Letters to Leaders

Water Authority Leadership Starts Dialogue on MWD Issues

The San Diego County Water Authority has been raising questions for years about questionable overcharging and overspending practices at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California – decisions that often occur with little board discussion or public oversight.

Drawing on their experience as elected officials, the Water Authority’s Board officers have concluded that many public officials in Southern California don’t know what is going on at MWD or how MWD’s decisions impact rates and property taxes.

To shine a light on MWD’s practices and to hold them accountable, the Water Authority’s Board officers have started a regional dialogue with their counterparts across Southern California through regular letters on key issues. These letters are intended to increase transparency and foster discussions that lead to real and meaningful changes at MWD.

MWD Should Not Rush to Judgment on $17B WaterFix

The chair and vice chair of the San Diego County Water Authority are urging MWD to perform the kind of fiscal due diligence that ratepayers deserve before voting on the state’s $17 billion WaterFix plan. MWD’s Board is set to vote on the WaterFix proposal on Sept. 26, potentially committing Southern California to more than […]

MWD Poised to Justify Spending Billions on Unnecessary Projects

According to MWD’s own data in its 2015 Urban Water Management Plan, the Los Angeles-based water agency is materially overstating future demand for its water. This overstatement threatens to waste billions of ratepayer and taxpayer dollars as MWD pursues projects to meet demands that don’t exist, according to the agency’s own data. MWD has made […]

$1.2 Billion in Unbudgeted Spending at MWD … and More

Over the last five years (from 2012-2016), MWD’s cumulative annual budgets totaled approximately $8 billion. During this same period, MWD collected $847 million more than this amount. MWD says this “over collection” had no impact on rates. Yet water rates have risen from $775 an acre/foot in 2012 to $950 in 2016 and will be […]

MWD Claims its $450 Million Turf Removal Program Had no Impact on Water Rates

By MWD’s own numbers, it collected nearly $850 million more from its member agencies between 2012 and 2015 than needed to pay for 100 percent of its actual costs for budgeted items during that period. MWD used about $450 million of this money to pay for conservation and turf replacement subsidies – one of the […]

MWD Turf Program Spends $30,000 to Conserve an Acre-Foot of Water

MWD hastily launched a turf removal program that spent $239 million to conserve 8,000 acre-feet of water – that works out to $30,000 an acre-foot. MWD’s own internal audit found mismanagement, poor planning and inadequate oversight of the program. MWD’s reckless spending has contributed to historic water rate increases over the past decade. Since 2006, […]