Among those agencies, only the San Diego County Water Authority pays
Met a separate fee to transport its independent water supply. The
source of that supply is the Colorado River, and the Water Authority
gains access to it through long-term agreements with the Imperial
Irrigation District and the federal government. Water from those
agreements comprises 25 percent of San Diego County's current supply
But getting that water ---- millions of gallons of it -- from Imperial Valley to San Diego County requires the use of Metropolitan's pipelines and pumps. So Metropolitan decided to charge the Water Authority for so-called, "transportation costs." That's fair. What's not fair are the unrelated charges, including the cost of Met's own water supplies, that Met tacks onto the Water Authority's bill.
In other words, local consumers are paying Metropolitan for water that the Water Authority purchases independently. That means we pay an inflated transportation cost, which in turn subsidizes the costs paid by Metropolitan's 25 remaining member agencies.
If the court rules in favor of the Water Authority, San Diego County ratepayers will see the benefits. Refunds would go to the 24 retail water agencies and cities within the county and, by extension, the ratepayers ---- that's us.
A case management hearing for the lawsuit is scheduled for April 11. In the meantime, the Water Authority will continue to build its case.
San Diego County consumers have been a cash cow for Met for far too long. This has to stop.
Pam Slater-Price represents District 3. Bill Horn represents District 5 on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.