Tuesday, Sept. 19: City Council to Consider 20% Rate Increase for Our Water Bills

by on September 19, 2023 · 6 comments

in Environment, San Diego

Today, Tuesday, Sept. 19, the San Diego City Council is scheduled to consider a nearly 20 percent rate-increase for water bills of local customers.

By David Garrick / San Diego Union-Tribune / Sept. 16, 2023

The increase, which city officials began studying last fall, would be the first comprehensive rate hike approved by the council in nearly eight years. It would include a 10.2 increase this December and an 8.75 percent jump in January 2025. City officials say they need additional revenue increases to cover rising costs for imported water, upgrades to thousands of aging pipes and a long list of short-term and long-term capital projects.

The capital projects include the Pure Water sewage-recycling system, which has been under construction since last year, and assessments needed to study upgrades needed to several aging city dams that state officials have deemed in poor condition. Money from the higher rates will also pay for recently approved salary increases for 950 city water workers and upgrades to the city’s customer service system, which has been harshly criticized.

The goal of the increases is raising the annual revenue generated by the city’s water system from $566 million to just over $600 million, city officials said. The City Council could approve the rate increases as proposed by city staff. But the last time comprehensive increases were approved, in 2015, the council shrunk them slightly and delayed when some of the increases would kick in.

For the balance of this wet article, please swim over here.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

chris schultz September 19, 2023 at 12:27 pm

Has anyone looked into the actions on the Lake Hodges water releases because the dam needs replacing for forever now? And the city just let the water go?

CBS 8 has learned over the past year that San Diego had to release 11 billion gallons of water from Lake Hodges to keep the water level low in Lake Hodges. “Eleven billion gallons represents two full years of water use for the Santa Fe Irrigation District and the San Dieguito Water District combined.Aug 31, 2023


chris schultz September 20, 2023 at 8:13 am

Where does the money go? According to the city, 59% is expected to go toward the purchase of imported water and 41% will pay for maintenance, upgrades and debt services for the city’s water system.

Why was there not an attempt into saving and or diverting any of the 11 billion gallons of water released at Hodges knowing dam replacement was going to need to happen one day?


chris schultz September 20, 2023 at 8:18 am

Two water districts in Southern California want to switch water suppliers and leave the San Diego County Water Authority, the long-time primary provider for the region. The county’s Local Agency Formation Commission said yes, including an exit fee intended to address impacts to the SDCWA budget. Voters in these districts are set to decide in a Nov. 7 special election.

How does this development factor into the rate increases?


Just Me September 20, 2023 at 11:10 am

Pure Water, aka recycling sewage into tap water is going to cost $1.2 billion, for the first phase. The 2nd phase will not be cheap either.

“Construction crews are simultaneously working on 10 different projects that make up Pure Water phase one, which will cost nearly $1.2 billion total.”



Frank Gormlie September 21, 2023 at 9:15 am

On a 5-3 vote, the San Diego City Council approved a series of water rate increases Tuesday totaling nearly 20% over the next two years, following a public hearing during which San Diegans largely urged the body to reject the hikes.

The first adjustment will be an increase of 5%, effective Dec. 1, 2023, followed by a 5.2% increase on July 1, 2024, and an increase of 8.7% effective Jan. 1, 2025. While ratepayers have previously seen smaller increases, Tuesday’s rate adjustment is the first comprehensive jump in rates since 2015. KPBS https://www.kpbs.org/news/local/2023/09/20/san-diego-city-council-approves-first-significant-water-rate-increase-since-2015/?utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=todays-top-news&utm_term=headline&_zs=FDtDc&_zl=Cmnk3


sealintheSelkirks September 23, 2023 at 12:52 pm

Not to blow desert dust on the rainy day parade outrage of higher water prices, but here is one that should make people a bit more nervous.

This is not only coming, it’s already here. How fast will the breakdown be? Depends. So expect far higher increases in the years ahead as this ‘price increase’ is only the start of the bad news.

The very bad math behind the Colorado River crisis




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