Water prices in San Diego again raise hackles at Council committee meeting

by on March 25, 2011 · 0 comments

in Economy, Environment, San Diego

by George J. Janczyn / Groksurf’s San Diego / March 23, 2011

What drew me to the San Diego City Council’s Natural Resources and Culture Committee meeting today [3-23-11] was a report on “Water Budget Based Billing” on the agenda.

This seemed timely because the price of water in the city of San Diego has lately been attracting more media attention (again). City Councilmember and mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio has been energetically spinning a proposal to cut water rates across the board by 15%, saying that the Public Utilities Department (PUD) management has room to tighten its own belt. Criticism also appears in a ‘people use less but pay more’ story the Voice of San Diego just published highlighting a woman who made a concerted effort to conserve water and has only a higher water bill to show for it.

Elsewhere people are calling for water rates that penalize waste and reward conservation while at the same time insisting that prices should only reflect absolutely necessary costs–not necessarily compatible goals. And comparisons are drawn with other water districts with lower rates–ignoring the fact those districts may import proportionately far less water than San Diego and have very different cost structures.

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