Local Water Agencies lose tiered rates while mandated to conserve

On Monday April 21st, 2015 an appeals court ruled against San Juan Capistrano’s tiered water rates.  Local agencies in Ventura County use tiered rates.  These are based on usage from the same period the prior year. If consumers exceed last year’s usage, they are bumped up a tier and are charged at a higher rate. The end user has won in court. Everyone will be bulled at a flat rate. However, the win will prove problematical for local agencies as they struggle to meet the Governor’s mandate to cut water usage by 25%. 

“The practical effect of the court’s decision is to put a straitjacket on local government at a time when the maximum flexibility is needed,” Governor Brown said in a statement. “My policy is and will continue to be: employ every method possible to ensure water is conserved across California.”

While the ruling will let the consumers who use water in excess off the proverbial hook, local districts will face enormous fines if they do not meet the mandated cutbacks.  Those fines will be spread to every ratepayer, not just the ones who are not doing their share to conserve.  

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Richard Michael

Is there anything to back up the statement that fines will be distributed among all ratepayers?