‘Oh, Yes! Let’s Raise the Water Rates – Again!’

by on August 10, 2022 · 3 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

By Judi Curry

Two days ago, I received in the mail, as I am sure that almost all of you did, a notice from the San Diego Public Utilities Commission notifying us of a “Notice of Public Hearing.”

And what is this hearing about?  A “Proposed Increase to Water Rates,” to be considered by the San Diego City Council.  (In case you did not receive the notice the public hearing will be held September 20, 2022, at 2:00pm.)

In italics starting the second column is says that “ . . . you have the right to protest the proposed rate increases.”

To say that the directions are a bit cloudy is a bit nebulous.  It states, in part, that

“only formal written protest will be considered under the City’s Proposition 218 protest tabulating procedures and must be received before the close of the public hearing either in person at the public hearing or via mail to City Clerk, 202 C St., MS 2P, San Diego, CA 92101.”

It goes on to say what needs to be in the written protest. The 4 page information pamphlet goes on to compare what is being asked for to what it is today.  Also at the bottom of the 4th and final page, there is a small section that reads:

“Written protest must be mailed in an envelope or delivered to City Clerk, 202 C St., MS 2P, San Diego, CA 92101.”

It goes on to say, that . “ I___________oppose the proposed rate increases.  Assessor’s Parcel Number of Address:_________ and Signature.”

Does this mean that unless you are a property owner you cannot protest the proposed rate?  If you are a renter and pay rent you can only pay more; not protest?

Let me say right here that I am against any form of rate increase for water.  Let me continue by saying that instead of building hundreds of homes and apartments; zillions of high rise particularly in the Midway District, that the Public Utilities commission come up with a viable plan for water before these new buildings be approved.

In the past 5 years, my water bill has tripled in spite of my conserving water to the point that I cannot conserve any more.  My water bill is 1/3 of my social security income.  Combine the gas and electric bill with the water bill, and I pay over half of my income to these utilities. (And I do have solar AND triple pane windows!)

Yes, there is a water shortage because we haven’t had any considerable rain for some time.

But the answer is not in raising the rates.

The answer is to stop the building until we have adequate water. To say that there is a housing shortage if a fair thing to say. To also say that we have a water shortage is also a fair thing to say.

But to build more, when there is no answer to the water shortage is, to put it bluntly, stupid!  Raising the rates is not going to increase rain; rather it is going to put a bigger burden on the home and business owner; the renters, and just about everyone one that lives in the San Diego Public Utilities area.

Unfortunately it has been my experience that the city council and its agencies do not listen to their constituents.  We have been through this before and in spite of the protests, the rates have been raised.

I think we are now at a critical place in San Diego and if the rates are raised there will be more homeless people to contend with.  When the cost of utilities outweighing the cost of food and health care, something has to change.

It’s time the city council Commission listens to the people and votes NO on raising the water rates.  And…if you have a moment, please send your written protest to the City Clerk.  This is not the time to procrastinate.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Judi August 10, 2022 at 11:45 am

I sent in my protest today


Kirk Mather August 10, 2022 at 4:44 pm

As counter intuitive as almost anything can be….building more homes might lower existing water bills.

A big chunk of local water bills pays for infrastructure to assure future supply. Posiden desal is very expensive, Imperial County infrastructure we paid for in exchange for irrigation water saved costs too and a huge reclaimed water project will provide 50% off our water in, I think, 2035 also at great cost. We live in a desert during climate change.

More people paying water bills spreads the cost burden for the rest of us.


Sadie August 11, 2022 at 1:42 am

I totally agree with you, Judy. Our City Council it gut punching us with new fee’s, new rules, taking away things we use… We have no representation. (I’d think that could be a legal matter) We should be voting on sone of this. It’s ridiculous to build, build, build while we are being told we have little water (for human use) and power. Building, taxing, raising rates and suggesting we cut gas wont fix the shortages. They are trying to take over our property, and creating homelessness, with their unworkable plans.


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