Peninsula water district withdraws its support for the Regional Water Project agreement; County Supes sign on.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
The regional water project agreements just won one agency's support, and lost another.
The Monterey County Board of Supervisors today voted 4-1 to back the settlement and water purchase agreements, with Supervisor Jane Parker opposing.
But last night, the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District Board of Directors rescinded its earlier position. Although the board voted 4-3 on March 25 to sign the agreements, the vote swung the other way at a special April 5 meeting. Directors cited concerns similar to those of the Division of Ratepayer Advocates, which argues the agreement is unfair to California American Water's ratepayers on the Monterey Peninsula.
DRA just released an analysis backing its position that the regional water project would result in "unacceptably high" costs. "Cal Am customers could pay more than $7,000 per acre-foot of water, resulting in rate increases of more than 100 percent …and summer bills upwards of $220 per month possible for residential customers with outdoor landscaping," DRA states. "…[T]he cost of the proposed project is exorbitant when compared with the cost of other desalination plants."
The decision means MPWMD will not be a signatory to the agreements submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission tomorrow, April 7.
Citizens for Public Water has also decided to reject the settlement, for similar reasons.