The Rancho Santa Fe Post

Paying Too Much for Water? Here's What You Can Do!

Pay $2,000 for water this year? $4k…$6k…$10k? Spend 50 cents on a stamp and mail your Prop. 218 Water Rate Protest by Dec. 19th.

 
Remember:
  • Written Protest Forms due Wed., December 19, 2018. Act Now.
  • Need your street address…or assessor’s parcel number
    Note: If your property is held in a trust that does not include your name, give your Assessor’s parcel # or SFID customer acct. # to avoid SFID rejecting your vote.
  • Mail: SFID, PO Box 409, RSF, CA., 92067. Write on outside envelope: “Attn. Rate Hearing”

1.) SFID proposes raising our rates 3%, three years in a row. Why should I file a Prop. 218 protest over a 3%; 3%; 3% increase?

The proposed rates do not affect all customers equally. Smaller, city-sized lots might get ALL water at the lowest, Tier 1 rate. (About 50% - mostly in Solana Beach – use approximately 37 units of water every two months.) I maintain it would be more equitable for all customers to have the same percentage of their outdoor water usage provided by cheaper, local Lake Hodges water, or a Uniform Rate (no tiers) as SFID had for 83 years up until 2006.

Also, 3%; 3%; 3% is not correct: years 2 & 3 have not factored in wholesaler pass-through increases.

2.) Is my water bill accurate? When I am charged the Tier 2 rate, was SFID required to buy more expensive imported water, hence the more than doubled water cost?

No. Not always. Depending on rainfall amounts, Lake Hodges might have additional water and SFID bills customers for Tier 2 water, when actually supplying them with cheaper, Tier 1 water.

3.) Doesn’t Prop. 218 prohibit charging double for Tier 2 water, when supplying local Tier 1 water? Doesn’t the California Constitution state citizens cannot be charged more than or less than the cost to actually produce and deliver the water?

Yes. This is precisely the point the Rancho Santa Fe Association has been making for the past year and a half.

4.) If I turn in a Prop. 218 protest, how will SFID pay its bills?

Not to worry. A “no” vote directs SFID to have its rate consultant divide the increased revenue requirement in a more equitable manner.

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For visual learners, the graph below illustrates cost/HCF of water. A Fairbanks Ranch neighbor with 3.15 acres and 1 ½” meter, contrasted with hypothetical Solana Beach customer, ¾” meter, using 37 HCF of water. (The data below is “all-in” cost/HCF...water cost plus fixed meter fees.)


Graphic that compares Fairbanks Ranch vs. Solana Beach costumers

Exercise your Constitutional right. Send in your Protest Vote. NOW.