The San Diego County Water Authority approved a water rate increase for calendar year 2020 purchases by SDCWA member agencies. The new rates approved by the water authority board June 27 will increase the cost per acre-foot on a countywide basis from $1,617 to $1,686 for treated water and from $1,341 to $1,406 for untreated supply. The increases equate to 4.3 percent for treated water and 4.8 percent for untreated water. The new rates also include an 18.3 percent increase in the Infrastructure Access Charge which is used for SDCWA fixed expenditures incurred even when water use is reduced. The water authority’s member agencies have the option of absorbing the rate increases or passing on the additional cost to customers.
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What are the likely effects of global climate change (GCC) around the world, across the United States, and within the San Diego region? Is where you live in any danger? Is there evidence that GCC is already affecting the San Diego region? What steps should we be taking? Professor Emeritus Phil Pryde first started teaching about greenhouse gas effects at SDSU in the 1980’s and has followed the topic ever since. This will be an illustrated, objective look at what we know and don’t know about global climate change and its possible effects locally.
After years of delays, and millions in cost overruns, San Diego will hire a third-party company to take over the city’s troubled conversion to smart water meters. The announcement was made after the city auditor released a new report highlighting management and staffing issues inside the city’s water department. The City of San Diego launched its conversion to smart water meters in July of 2012 with a completion date of December 2017. But shortly after launching, numerous delays occurred due to a lack of oversight, staffing shortages, and performance issues with the meters. Currently only six percent of San Diego customers have smart water meters installed and the program is now $16 million over budget.
San Diego-based California American Water filed an application to set new rates in each of its service areas for 2021 through 2023. If approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, the new rates will take effect Jan. 1, 2021.
The Sweetwater Authority, a water agency that serves 190,000 people in National City, Bonita and parts of Chula Vista, was last in the news in January when board members voted 6-1 to give themselves ridiculously cheap, heavily subsidized health insurance for their dependents. This is a part-time government body that oversees 100-plus employees earning $176,000 in average salary and benefits that needs far more transparency and accountability. Yet General Manager Tish Berge and board members have taken a step in the opposite direction. They have instituted policies that no longer require that minutes be kept for its two key committees — one that reviews issues related to operations and one that addresses finances and personnel.
Officials began to clean up a massive oil spill Friday that dumped nearly 800,000 gallons of oil and water into a California canyon, making it larger — if less devastating — than the state’s last two major oil spills. The newly revealed spill has been flowing off and on since May and has again stopped, Chevron spokeswoman Veronica Flores-Paniagua said. She and California officials said the spill is not near any waterway and has not significantly affected wildlife. The last flow was Tuesday.
The city wants residents to know its drinking water is more than safe, according to its recently released 2018 Water Quality Report. According to the report, the city didn’t detect lead in its drinking water and is compliant with federal and state lead regulations. The report lists all detected substances in the city’s drinking water, broken down by each of its three sources. The city tests for more than 90 different substances throughout the year. According to Water Utilities Director Cari Dale, the city closely monitors its drinking water to “ensure the highest quality of water is delivered” to customers.
A series of changes related to the operations of the Sweetwater Authority has given rise to concerns that the South Bay water agency’s governing board has ceded too much power to the general manager and diminished transparency. Among the set of revisions to policies that govern the water agency and its governing board: directors are no longer allowed to seek information from staff without the general manager’s knowledge, the Sweetwater Authority is no longer required to keep minutes of meetings when directors on committees convene and the general manager is now allowed to spend up to $75,000 without board approval.
The city of San Diego’s plan to replace every water meter in the city is more than two years behind schedule, millions of dollars over budget and probably won’t be finished for at least another three years, according to a city audit released Thursday. The audit, prompted in part by a Voice of San Diego and NBC 7 Responds investigation, gives new insight into the city’s outrageous lack of planning for a multimillion-dollar project involving one of the most basic municipal services: water. For years, the city has wanted to install over a quarter-million new “smart” water meters, which are supposed to increase billing accuracy, provide real-time data on water use and eliminate the need for city employees to go to homes and offices across the city to read each meter.
The East County Advanced Water Purification Program progressed closer to completion with its program’s partner agencies — Padre Dam Municipal Water District, the City of El Cajon, Helix Water District and the County of San Diego — approving an Interim Funding Agreement (IFA). The IFA will ensure that the program can move forward with funding for the next year. The IFA states each agency will commit $2.35 million ($9.4 million total) towards the program that aims to create a new, local, sustainable and drought-proof drinking water supply using state-of-the-art technology to purify East San Diego County’s recycled water.