Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

Water Bills Could Go Up Again In San Diego Next Year

Your browser does not support this object. View the original here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5LfKLz6gN8

Download this video (19.5 MB, MP4 format)

Video Transcript:

THE COSTS OF WATER IN SAN DIEGO MAY GO UP AGAIN. THE PROPOSAL IS THE LATEST IN THE SERIES OF RATE HIKES OVER THE PAST FOUR YEARS, AND IT'S NOT WITHOUT ITS CRITICS. ALLISON ST. JOHN IS HERE TO TELL US MORE. ALLISON, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. HOW MUCH WOULD THE AVERAGE MONTHLY BILL GO UP IF THIS PROPOSAL GOES THROUGH? WELL, IF IT GOES THROUGH WHICH IS LOOKS LIKE IT'S A STRONG POSSIBILITY, THE AVERAGE WATER BILL IN THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO WOULD GO UP $3 OR $4, ABOUT 5% FROM, SAY, ABOUT $68 A MONTH TO MAYBE $72 A MONTH. AND OF COURSE FOR LARGE COMMERCIAL USERS, IT WOULD GO UP A LOT MORE. ISN'T THIS COUNTERINTUITIVE? WE'VE ALL BEEN SAVING AND CONSERVING WATT SORE WELL, WHY IS THIS WATER RATE HIKE NEEDED? THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION, ESPECIALLY SINCE THE CITY DID HAVE A FULL SERIES OF HIKES IN 2007 AND NOW UNEXPECTEDLY HERE COMES ANOTHER RATE HIKE BEFORE THOSE ARE EVEN COMPLETE. SO THE REASONING IS WE ARE BEING PROVIDED 85% TO 90% OF OUR WATTER FROM OUTSIDE SOURCES. SO IT'S THE AGENCIES UP THE LINE THAT ARE HAVING TO PUT UP THEIR COSTS. SO RIGHT ABOVE US, WE HAVE THE COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY. THEY GET THE WATER FROM THE WATER DISTRICT, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AGENCY. AND EACH OF THESE AGENCIES HAVE PUT UP THEIR COSTS INDEPENDENTLY OF THE CITY. THEY ARE NOW SAYING TO THE CITY, WE'RE GOING TO CHARGE YOU MORE. IT'S LIKE A PASS THROUGH COST THAT THE CITY WILL NOT HAVE TO MEET. NOT EVERYONE IS BUYING THIS EXPLANATION, SPECIFICALLY SAN DIEGO COUNCILMAN CARL DEMY YO. WHAT IS HE SAYING ABOUT THE PROPOSED RATE HIKE? HE'S SAYING YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT THE COST OF NOT JUST BUILDING THE INFRASTRUCTURE BUT ALSO THE ADMINISTRATION OF HOW THE ORGANIZATIONS ARE USING THEIR FUNDS TO PAY SALARIES AND PENSION BENEFITS. HE'S POINTING OUT THAT THE -- ACCORDING TO HIM, THE COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY HAS A UNSUSTAINABLE RATE OF INCREASED LABOR COSTS. HE'S SAYING THE WATER DISTRICT IS PROVIDING GUARANTEED SALARIES. THERE IS SAY TIME WHEN MANY SMALL BUSINESSES ARE HAVING TO CUT. THAT IS ONE OF THE ELEMENTS OF THIS WATER RATE INCREASE THAT HE IS NOT IN AGREEMENT WITH. AND HE'S NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO'S SAYING THIS. LEADERS OF FIVE WATER AGENCIES IN THE COUNTY HAVE TOLD THE AUTHORITY THAT THEY ARE NOT DOING ENOUGH TO KEEP EXPENSES DOWN. HOW MUCH TRUTH IS THERE TO THAT? WELL THERE'S SO MANY DIFFERENT ANALYSES OF THE DIFFERENT COSTS. IT'S HARD TO GET AN OBJECTIVE SENSE. IT'S TRUE THAT EVERYONE'S TRYING TO PASS THE BLAME UP THE LINE. THE LOCAL WATER AUTHORITY SAYS LOOK IT'S THE COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY. THE COUNTY IS SAYING METROPOLITAN IS CHARGING SAN DIEGO AN UNFAIR AMOUNT AND WE ARE SUBSIDIZING OTHER REGIONS. SO AT EACH LEVEL, PEOPLE ARE LOOKING UP SAYING WE HAVE YOU BE BLAMING THE PEOPLE ABOVE US. THE FACT IS, I SUPPOSE WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING AT GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. WATER AUTHORITIES DO TEND TO, YOU KNOW, FLY UNDER THE RADAR A BIT. THEY HAVEN'T BEEN UNDER A GREAT DEAL OF SCRUTINY. THIS IS THE TIME WHEN I THINK THEY WILL BE A LITTLE MORE UNDER THE MICROSCOPE. YOU MENTIONED THAT WE HAD A SERIES OF RATE HIKES OVER THE PAST FOUR YEARS. WHY DID WE HAVE THOSE HIKES? BECAUSE THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO HAD TO PUT IN A BUNCH OF NEW INFRASTRUCTURE AND MEND THE WATER AND SEWER PIPES. I THINK THOSE WERE THINGS THAT WERE FEDERALLY MANDATED THAT THE CITY HAD TO DO. SO THAT MONEY HAS GONE TO THE CITY'S INFRASTRUCTURE. THE NEXT COSTS ARE UP THE LINE NOT COMING DOWN TO SAN DIEGO, WHICH IS AT THE END OF THE WATER PIPELINE. SO IN A DAY OF DECLINING WATER SOURCES, AREN'T WE LIKELY TO SEE MANY MORE RATE HIKES IN THE FUTURE? I'M AFRAID THAT'S AN ACCURATE ASSESSMENT BECAUSE THE IRONY IS THAT AS YOU CONSERVE, YOU OBVIOUSLY HOPE YOUR BILL WILL GO DOWN. AS YOU CONSERVE, YOU'RE USING LESS WATER WHICH MEANS THE AGENCIES PROVIDING IT HAVE LESS TO WORK WITH. THEY ARE HAVING TO BUILD A LOT OF NEW INFRASTRUCTURE AND PLANTS IN ORDER TO KEEP THE SUPPLIES UP. SO IT ISN'T NECESSARILY FOLLOWING YOUR INTUITIVE OF WHAT YOU WOULD THINK AS YOU PAY LESS --AS YOU CONSERVE YOU WOULD PAY LESS. IN FACT IT'S THE OPPOSITE. WE HAVE TO PAY MORE AS WE CONSERVE. WATER IS SUCH A CRUCIAL ELEMENT OF OUR SURVIVAL THAT I THINK IT'S JUST A FOREGONE CONCLUSION THAT WE WILL BE PAYING MORE AND MORE INTO THE FUTURE FOR WATER. SO IT'S A MATTER AS CUSTOMERS WE'RE DAMNED IF WE DO AND DAMNED IF WE DON'T.

Forgot your password?