Key Issues

The Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California plays a vital role, providing water to more than half the state’s population and supporting a trillion-dollar economy. Unfortunately, the powerful agency often keeps important information – particularly about rates and spending – clouded in secrecy, misdirection and obfuscation.

The San Diego County Water Authority – one of MWD’s largest customers – regularly updates this website to provide facts and the supporting documents about recurring problems at MWD. MWD’s finances, rates, governance, ethics and other issues should be discussed and debated in an open, transparent and accessible forum – not behind closed doors.

Current key issues include:


MWD collected $847 million more from ratepayers than the agency needed to pay its budgeted expenses by overcharging ratepayers from 2012 through 2015.


MWD spent almost $1.2 billion on unplanned expenses – significantly exceeding not only its budget but the amount it overcharged ratepayers – from 2012 through 2016.

Unplanned borrowing

In fiscal year 2016, MWD approved two unplanned debt authorizations totaling $900 million.

One result of these problems is that everyone in Southern California is paying more than they should for water. MWD’s rates have doubled over the past decade, and there’s no end in sight unless ratepayers demand transparency and accountability from MWD.