Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Election 2020: Live Results | Tracking COVID-19 | Racial Justice

MWD Chair Responds To Criticism Over Pension Increase


How will a plan to increase employee pension benefits at the Metropolitan Water District affect water rates in San Diego County? We'll speak to MWD Chairman Tim Brick about why employee benefits and water rates are being increased at the same time.

Maureen Cavanaugh: Begin talking about public employee pension benefits and San Diego immediately sits up and takes notice. Talk about increasing those benefits and some local officials run the risk of regressing into disturbing flashbacks.

Not that long ago, the city of San Diego's underfunded pension mess brought us to the brink of bankruptcy. And, San Diego County is just now beginning to count the cost of another badly-timed pension benefit increase.

In this climate, then, it comes as no surprise that a new deal struck between the Metropolitan Water District and its labor unions to increase pension benefits has gotten roundly criticized by San Diego's Mayor and other officials. The fact that the Metropolitan Water District, which provides most of San Diego's water, has increased water rates by 19 percent this year with another 12 percent hike expected next year hasn't helped the pension deal's popularity.

So, why would the nation's largest provider of treated water choose this moment to increase pension benefits? Is there a method behind what looks like madness?


Tim Brick, Chairman of the Board for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.


San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.