The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s most powerful union went into contract negotiations late last year convinced its workers deserved more money. For three years, the union’s 9,000 members had gone without raises, even as other city workers won pay increases.
An effort by California officials to carry their success with water conservation beyond the drought is not sitting well with local water managers, many of whom are eager to shake off state control. … The proposal was met with howls of protest from many local water agency leaders, who say budget-based water rates are too costly and complicated to adopt. Some also object to state meddling in water rates, historically the sole province of local water utilities.
During drought, people conserve water. That’s a good thing for public water agencies and the state as a whole but the reduction in use ultimately means less money flowing into the budgets of those very agencies that need funds to treat water to drinkable standards, maintain a distribution system, and build a more drought-proof supply.
For those in the business of selling water, drought often brings financial strains. New research by the PPIC Water Policy Center found that more than 70% of California’s urban water suppliers experienced reduced revenues during the latest drought. We talked to David Mitchell—an economist specializing in water and a co-author of a new PPIC report on urban drought resilience—about the cost of water and drought.
Ross Valley’s controversial flood fee was hiked 3 percent Tuesday, helping pay for a public relations campaign smoothing the waters for projects that will turn key park areas into flood retention basins.
The Santa Cruz City Council on Tuesday will hear a plan to increase sharply water rates and create a drought-recovery fee for funding infrastructure projects, stabilizing revenue and boosting reserves.
The state Water Resources Control Board released a survey this week that revealed that Californians actually have increased their water use amid the worst drought in decades — despite a spirited public-relations campaign about saving water.
A Superior Court judge has ordered the Castaic Lake Water Agency, Santa Clarita Valley’s water retailer, to rescind an illegal “special tax” imposed on Santa Clarita Valley water retailers, who passed that rate on to customers.
From the San Francisco Chronicle, in C.W. Nevius’ column:
Gleneagles, the quirky, challenging, everyman’s golf course in one of San Francisco’s roughest neighborhoods, is having trouble making ends meet. … However, the latest blow, a major increase in water rates, has course operator Tom Hsieh wondering if the effort is worth it.
In April, the city [Detroit] set a target of cutting service to 3,000 customers a week who were more than $150 behind on their bills. In May, the water department sent out 46,000 warnings and cut off service to 4,531.
The East Bay’s largest water supplier failed to give the public an adequate explanation of a 9.75 percent water increase, the first of two big increases in consecutive years, Alameda County’s civil grand jury has concluded.