What Fallbrook and Rainbow’s Revolt Says About San Diego’s Skyrocketing Water Rates

To understand why water agencies in Fallbrook and Rainbow are in revolt, consider the squeeze faced by Ismael Resendiz and the 250-acre cut-flower farm where he grows Protea, Pincushions and Banksia.

Resendiz said his flowers are barely getting the water they need to thrive. He said he’s had to cut irrigation in half over the last two years because of soaring rates. Over the last five years, his monthly bill has jumped from about $25,000 to $30,000 a month.

Now he’s considering dramatically shrinking his crop.

RMWD Adds Cultural and Tribal Monitoring Consultant Tasks to Rice Canyon Pipeline Project

The Rainbow Municipal Water District’s Rice Canyon Pipeline project will have cultural and tribal monitoring during construction.

The official Rainbow board action Dec. 7, which was approved on a 4-0 vote with Pam Moss absent, approves a change order to the as-needed consulting services contract the district has with Helix Environmental Planning. The board also appropriated an additional $115,000 to cover the cost of the cultural and tribal consulting work.

LAFCO Begins Public Review of Draft MSR Updates for FPUD, RMWD, NCFPD, CSA No. 81

San Diego County’s Local Agency Formation Commission has released the draft municipal service review updates of Fallbrook special districts for public review. Discussion on updating the municipal service review information for the Fallbrook Public Utility District, the Rainbow Municipal Water District, the North County Fire Protection District, and County Service Area No. 81 was part of the Dec. 6 LAFCO board meeting although releasing the report for public review did not require a vote.

Rainbow Adopts Resolution of Necessity for 7 Parcels

The Rainbow Municipal Water District adopted a Resolution of Necessity for seven legal parcels which will be needed for Rainbow’s Lift Station No. 1 replacement project including temporary construction easements.

Rainbow’s board voted 4-0 Dec. 7, with Pam Moss absent, to adopt a Resolution of Necessity for the seven parcels with three different ownerships and to authorize Rainbow General Manager Tom Kennedy to proceed with actions necessary to acquire the interests in the properties.

CWA Vote Entitlement Percentage Up for RMWD, Down for FPUD and Camp Pendleton

The weighted vote at 2022 San Diego County Water Authority board meetings will increase slightly for the Rainbow Municipal Water District while decreasing slightly for the Fallbrook Public Utility District and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

The Nov. 18 SDCWA board meeting approved the 2022 weighted vote allocations for the CWA member agencies. RMWD will have 3.926% of the weighted vote, FPUD will have a weighted vote of 2.238%, and the Camp Pendleton weighted vote will be 0.081%. For the 2021 board meetings, RMWD had a weighted vote of 3.923%, FPUD’s share was 2.256%, and the Camp Pendleton weighted vote was 0.084%.

CWA Approves Two-Month Extension of PSAWR Eligibility Transition

When the San Diego County Water Authority adopted the Permanent Special Agricultural Water Rate, the SDCWA also adopted eligibility criteria but allowed previous Temporary Special Agricultural Water Rate customers a six-month grace period to establish eligibility. The CWA extended that transitional eligibility period by an additional two months June 24. The unanimous CWA board vote extends the temporary eligibility period to Aug. 31. Although the six CWA member agencies who requested an extension of the eligibility period sought a six-month extension, the CWA’s Financial Strategy Working Group recommended the two-month extension which was approved by the CWA board.

Opinion: San Diego County Must Not Suffer if Fallbrook and Rainbow Leave Water Authority

With nearly 100 years of combined experience working on important regional issues across San Diego County, we wanted to share some observations about a proposal currently pending among our region’s water providers.

The Fallbrook Public Utility District and Rainbow Municipal Water District have filed applications to leave the San Diego County Water Authority and instead get their water from an agency in Riverside County.

First and foremost, this is a regional decision that has regional implications. Rainbow and Fallbrook’s plan for leaving for Riverside will raise water bills on every family and business in San Diego County, all while our economy is trying to recover from a recession caused by the pandemic.

San Diego Water War in the North County

A water war is heating up in the North County.

Rainbow Municipal Water District and Fallbrook Public Utility District want to leave the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) because of rising costs. They want to join the Eastern Municipal Water District in Riverside County, a move that could save their customers up to $5 million a year.

LAFCO Approves Annexation of Meadowood Land into Rainbow MWD

San Diego County’s Local Agency Formation Commission has approved the annexation of the development originally known as Meadowood into the Rainbow Municipal Water District.

A 7-0 LAFCO board vote May 3, with no City of San Diego representative present, approved the detachment of the land from the Valley Center Municipal Water District and the annexation of the property into the Rainbow district. Tri Pointe Homes is now the parent company of Pardee Homes, and the development’s name has been changed from Meadowood to Citro. An amendment to the sphere of influence, which determines the boundaries best served by a particular agency, was also approved to allow for the boundary changes.

Rainbow Approves Purchase of Emergency Generators and Solar Battery Backup

The Rainbow Municipal Water District will be acquiring two emergency generators and a solar-powered battery backup system.

Rainbow’s board voted 5-0 April 27 to authorize general manager Tom Kennedy to execute purchase orders for the two generators and the battery backup system equipment. The purchases will be funded by a state Office of Emergency Services grant, and Kennedy’s $300,000 spending authorization matches that grant amount.