Mismatched: MWD Overstates Demand for Its Water

One of the most active environmental groups in California water issues is raising serious questions about “mismatches” in MWD’s water supply plans that could result in spending millions of ratepayer dollars unnecessarily. The central problem raised by the Natural Resources Defense Council is that MWD is overstating future demand for its water by undercounting the impact of local supply projects and understating the impact of conservation.

An analysis commissioned by the Water Authority came to a similar conclusion earlier this year.

“If water agencies overestimate water demand, they run the risk of investing in water supplies that won’t be needed (but still need to be paid for) and sticking customers with higher water bills,” said NRDC. “We find that MWD overprojects annual water demand by 335,000 to 554,000 acre-feet and underprojects local water supplies by up to 229,000 acre-feet compared to the water agencies in its service area. Based on these projections for higher demand and less local supply, MWD anticipates 259,000 to 281,000 AF more in annual imported water sales than member agencies plan to purchase.”

Click here to read NRDC’s report “Mismatched.”