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Helix Water District Does About-Face with Shutoff Plan for Non-Paying Customers

Helix Water District customers who have had trouble paying their bills during the COVID-19 pandemic will be spared having their water turned off by the La Mesa-based water providers.

The five-member Helix Water District Board of Directors unanimously voted on Wednesday to delay the resumption of shutoffs for nonpayment until Jan. 1, to be consistent with Senate Bill 155, which was signed by Governor Newsom on Sept. 23. Among other things, the new law extends the moratorium on termination of water service for nonpayment until the end of the year.

Water Authority Gets $36 Million Back in Rate Dispute with Metropolitan Water

The Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District will pay damages and interest totaling $36 million to the San Diego County Water Authority in a long-running dispute over water transport charges.

The decision by Metropolitan Water’s board followed a California Court of Appeal decision upholding earlier rulings in favor of San Diego. The latest payment will bring the San Diego authority’s cash recovery on behalf of local ratepayers to more than $80 million. Compensation for attorney fees is also possible, potentially bringing the total to $94 million.

Water Authority’s Ratepayer Protection Case Secures Additional $36 Million Recovery

Sept. 30, 2021 – The San Diego County Water Authority’s Chair today announced a decision by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s Board of Directors to pay damages and statutory interest for illegal water charges from 2015-2017, totaling about $36 million. The vote followed a California Court of Appeal decision upholding earlier rulings in favor of San Diego.

San Diego’s Sewer and Water Rates Due to Climb

San Diego’s sewer rates haven’t gone up in ten years. Now, the city is playing catch up with a four-year string of rate hikes they say is needed to maintain the aging system, and fund the Pure Water project.

The city says the increase was long overdue. But so are the unpaid water bills of thousands of lower income San Diegans. California’s pandemic water shutoff moratorium is set to end September 30.

San Diego Increases Sewer Rates 31 percent Over Four Years for Single-Family Customers

The San Diego City Council unanimously approved Tuesday a 17 percent sewer rate increase for single-family homes next year and a 31 percent increase for those customers over the next four years.

The new rate structure, which takes effect Jan. 1, reduces sewer rates for most businesses, condos and apartments based on two comprehensive studies showing those customers have been paying more than their fair share.

Higher Water Costs on the Horizon for San Diego Region

San Diego County residents should expect to pay a lot more for water in the near future.

The San Diego County Water Authority, which controls most of the region’s water resources from the drought-stressed Colorado River, is predicting anywhere from a 5.5 to 10 percent increase in the cost of water beginning in 2023, with hefty hikes continuing in the years thereafter.

The agency pointed to multiple drivers, chief among them an expected drop in demand as more cities build water recycling projects and the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water Authority, which controls San Diego’s access to the Colorado River, continues raising its rates.

Sacramento Reduces Water Consumption but Falls Short of Newsom’s Goal for California

As California’s drought deepens, Sacramento residents are falling short of meeting Gov. Gavin Newsom’s call for water conservation — at least so far.

Area residents reduced water usage by an average of 6% last month, compared to August 2020, according to data released this week by the Sacramento Regional Water Authority. That compares with the 15% voluntary goal announced by Newsom in an executive order in July.

Drought: Marin Water Utility Weighs New Fees for Excessive Use

The Marin Municipal Water District is considering whether to charge new penalties for high water users during the drought.

The proposal discussed by the district’s board this week would set varying caps on water use during the “summer” and “winter” billing periods. Ratepayers would be charged a fee for every 748 gallons used above that cap.

Water Rates Could Increase in Poway Under New Proposal

Residents and businesses in Poway soon could be paying more on their water bills.

Poway City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to set a public hearing on a proposed four-year rate increase for water, recycled water and wastewater rates. It comes as the city grapples with how to deal with the future of water for its residents, challenged by rising costs to import water and the need to pay into capital improvement projects.

Are Water, Wastewater Bills About to Rise?

While water rates have increased in the past few years, it’s been longer since wastewater rates changed.

“We have not had an increase in over a decade, more than 10 years,” said Shauna Lorance, director of the city of San Diego’s Public Utilities.

Drinking water rates did increase about two years ago, and under this proposal, they will likely be going up another 2%. The biggest change will be for wastewater charges.