SDG&E and the San Diego County Water Authority vie for power

SDG&E and the San Diego County Water Authority vie for power

The San Diego County Water Authority, which allocates water from the Colorado River to the 24 retail water agencies serving the San Diego region, has entered into a 50-year contract to purchase hydroelectricity directly from Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. However, the Water Authority needs SDG&E’s transmission lines to deliver the power, just as it needs Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s aqueduct to deliver Colorado River water. Talks between SDG&E and the Water Authority are apparently off to a rocky start, and there’s a lot at stake, including a giant battery.

Read the Voice of San Diego story by Ry Rivard

MWD Board Rejects 62 Percent Increase

MWD Board Rejects 62 Percent Increase

April 12, 2016 — This afternoon, the Board of Directors of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) rejected a proposed fee increase that would have increased the cost of MWD’s treated water by up to 62 percent in 2017.

While Helix Water District operates its own treatment plant, a number of San Diego County water agencies, including Padre Dam and Otay water districts in east county, purchase water treated by MWD.

The decision by MWD’s board followed testimony against the increase from numerous stakeholders, including Helix Board President, DeAna Verbeke, and San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce General Manager, Eric Lund.

In lieu of the proposed fee, the MWD board voted to continue the agency’s surcharge for water treatment, which will reach $313 per acre foot of treated water in 2017. One acre foot of water is equivalent to the average annual use of two single family homes in Southern California.

The MWD board went on to approve a two year budget of $1.65 billion in fiscal year 2016-17 and $1.69 billion in fiscal year 2017-18. The budget includes a minimum of $100 million in funding for water conservation rebates over the next two years.

Read the San Diego Union Tribune’s April 11, 2016 Editorial


Photo of Helix board president, DeAna Verbeke, and San Diego East County Chamber General Manager, Eric Lund, after lobbying for east county at MWD board meeting.

Helix board president, DeAna Verbeke, and San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce General Manager, Eric Lund, after petitioning MWD board.

New Rates in Effect January 1, 2016

In October the district’s board of directors approved rate increases that will appear on customer bills beginning January 1, 2016. The average district customer will see an increase of approximately $6 per month as a result. The rate increase was primarily driven by the impacts of the drought and the rising cost of imported water. Of note, these rates already cover the costs associated with the Carlsbad desalination plant, which began commercial operation this week. See the bill insert below for more information or estimate your bill.

Bill Insert-Jan I 2016 Rates

Final Judgment in Rate Case Secures Landmark Water Authority Victories

MWD owes Water Authority $235 million and rights to more MWD water supply

A final judgment entered in San Francisco Superior Court late Wednesday affirms victories by the San Diego County Water Authority in both phases of two landmark lawsuits challenging rates set by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The judgment also orders MWD to recalculate the Water Authority’s statutory right to MWD water supply – a right MWD had illegally under-calculated for more than a decade.

The final judgment by Judge Curtis E.A. Karnow combines rulings he issued in 2014 and 2015. Key elements of the judgment are: the invalidation of MWD’s unlawful transportation rates for 2011-2014; an order directing MWD to pay the Water Authority $188.3 million in contract damages; and a finding that MWD has under-calculated the Water Authority’s right to MWD water by tens of thousands of acre-feet of water per year.

In addition, the judge said MWD owes the Water Authority $46.6 million in prejudgment interest, for a total judgment of nearly $235 million. That amount will accrue simple post-judgment interest of 7 percent annually, meaning the total amount due to the Water Authority will grow by $45,000 per day – or $16.4 million per year – until MWD pays what it owes to the Water Authority.

Read the San Diego County Water Authority’s press release
SDCWA Release-Final Judgement in MWD Rates Case

San Diego Union Tribune — Water-rate hikes: No grandstanding, please

The San Diego Union Tribune’s editorial board is endorsing the City of San Diego’s proposed, four year water rate increase. The editorial cites the expense of developing new water resources, like the Carlsbad Desalination Plant and the city’s plan to purify wastewater to drinking water standards, and states, “We hope the City Council figures out that there are no easy, cheap solutions when it comes to securing reliable water supplies in 21st century California.”

San Diego Union Tribune Editorial

City of San Diego Fact Sheet on Proposed Water Rate Increase

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