When customers started complaining early last year about spiking water bills, authorities downplayed the situation. Water department officials repeatedly said that leaky toilets, broken sprinklers and the rising cost of water were likely to blame, even as customer complaints flooded into the agency’s public hotline for months.
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.