San Diego Facing Another Water Rate Hike

MWD votes to increase water prices

Southern California homeowners have seen their water rates go up almost 400 percent in 10 years.

Now another increase voted on by the Metropolitan Water District will raise rates on its prices for 2017 and 2018.  Jason Foster with the San Diego Water Authority says those prices will get passed on to retail water agencies in the San Diego region and then come out of the wallet of local residents and businesses.

"It's undoubtedly going to be felt by customers throughout San Diego County," said Foster.

The MWD supplies water to 19 million people in six counties, nearly half of San Diego's water supply. Officials say the increase will average about 4 percent a year, but Foster says San Diegans will pay much more than that.  

"It looks like the increase on the untreated water rate is actually closer to 12 percent," said Foster. The cost for treated water will increase 3.9 percent. He says customers here pay more for water including a charge from the MWD to bring Colorado River water to San Diego, which will increase by 6.2 percent in 2017.

The San Diego Water Authority is in a legal battle with MWD over its rate setting practice.

In a press release, the Metropolitan Board said the "two-year spending plan strikes a balance between equitable generating revenues to invest in the Soutland's water future and managing rates through modest increases reflecting the cost of service."

Jason Foster with the San Diego County Water Authority says these price hikes are a good reminder why the county should do more to generate it's own water sources like desalination plants and San Diego's "Pure Water" program.

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