No Water Rate Hike! It Was Nice While It Lasted

OK, water rates are now said to be rising slightly- blame the usual "trickle down" costs.

Remember just last week, when the ’s board of directors to charge lower rates for the water we pay for and said our bills would remain about the same?

Never mind.

Beginning in January 2012, your monthly water bill is going up- probably about 4 percent over what you pay now.

The reason is simple, if you follow along here.

The , from which we get our water, is raising its rates to local agencies like Padre Dam 7.7 percent, because the is raising ITS rates to SDCWA by 7.5 per cent.

I hate the phrase “trickle down,” but it’s the best I can think of to describe what’s going to happen.

Fully 40 to 50 per cent of your Padre Dam bill is what the call “pass through” billing. In other words, Padre Dam is passing on to us what it has to pay the County Water Authority for our water.

SDCWA is “passing through” the rates it has to pay to SDCWA.

It’s the picture of water that has pretty much always existed in Southern California, and there’s little or nothing we can do about it.

The remaining money we’re ultimately asked to pay is for the things that get our water to us.

The pipelines, the canals, the pump stations, the reservoirs- building and then maintaining all that costs a hideous amount of money.

I’ve already gotten several irate e-mails from people asking me why Padre Dam can’t just eat the cost, rather than have to pass it on.

They say the City of San Diego is going to do that- why can’t Padre Dam?

There’s a very simple answer to that question.

San Diego has several of its own reservoirs- reservoirs that are full nearly to overflowing with water from the abundant winter rains last year.

San Diego can and will use that water to keep the costs to ratepayers down, since not a drop of that has to be brought in from Northern California or the Colorado River.

Padre Dam, and most other local agencies, don’t have that luxury.

Every drop of potable water Padre Dam provides to us at the tap has to come from the County Water Authority- we have NO potable sources of our own-not a drop.

Nobody much likes all this- but there’s not really a way around it.

Unless we empower Padre Dam to start building its own reservoirs and canals and pipelines to northern California and the Colorado river.

Trust me, you don’t want to go there.

You think the bills are too high now?


Doug Curlee June 29, 2011 at 11:22 PM
jen.. i was assuming a couple of things when i wrote.. firstly, that you wanted to remain in santee...sure, there are MANY other places to liv in southern california, at least..almost all of which are supplied by imported water..and by similar water districts.. secondly, with regard to where santee lakes acquires its water.. i assumed you knew that santee lakes are entirely filled with highly treated waste water.. doug
Jen June 30, 2011 at 03:30 AM
Yes, Doug... you assume much. In my post, I acknowledged the waste water and I asked where that waste water comes from. If it's coming from my home as a Padre Dam customer I would imagine that I should receive some sort of consolation (aka. discount on my Padre Dam bill) for providing the waste water to the Lakes - as they are profiting from the waste water.
Doug Curlee June 30, 2011 at 04:35 PM
jen.. are you actually saying padre dam should be paying you for the privilege of collecting and processing the waste water from your toilets and sinks? doug
IG Basker July 01, 2011 at 01:51 PM
Jen, Its more like Padre Dam's processing of the waste from our toilets and sinks saves us money...the water can be sold as recycled water rather than paying the City of San Diego for the privilege of sending it through their system for more processing before its dumped into the ocean. Santee Lakes is just another outlet for "disposing" of the excess recycled water that isn't sold to recycled customers. IG
sluggo July 03, 2011 at 08:05 PM
I'm still waiting for a no-kidding cost comparison of PD rates vs other districts. Kind of tricky to do w/the tiered rate structure, but still doable. I'm betting PD rate payers are getting hosed. I wish someone would cover this in a story. We're thirsting for real information.


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