Two water agency general managers in San Diego County have co-authored an opinion piece in the Escondido Times-Advocate that opposes a proposal in the state Legislature to add a “voluntary donation” to water bills. The new approach is designed to sidestep opposition to a water tax, which failed this summer to get necessary support in Sacramento.
“As proposed, the ‘Voluntary Donation’ will show up on your monthly water bill along with the normal charges, unless you take action to ‘Opt Out,’” said Greg Thomas, general manager of the Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District, and Gary Arant, general manager of the Valley Center Municipal Water District.
“This will require agencies to reconfigure their bills and modify their billing system, change financial processing software/systems, administrative procedures, and customer service to accomplish this effort and then process and track customers wishing to ‘Opt out,’” they said. “This will necessarily translate into higher costs being passed on to ratepayers at a time when water affordability is already a critical issue in our state.”