Governor proclaims drought state of emergency
Original post made on Jan 20, 2014
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, January 17, 2014, 10:34 AM
on Jan 20, 2014 at 10:30 am
Oh yes...here we go again...Cut water usage by 20% and the EBMUD folks will increase the rate for water...Why you ask, because we are not using enough water to cover EBMUD operating expenses.
The "we the people" get screwed again and again.
I am all for cutting back but for gods sake do not increase our water rate.
Thanks for listening, Julia Pardini from Alamo
on Jan 20, 2014 at 11:54 am
I agree with Julia. Also, I can remember drought problems and water cutbacks being requested ever since I moved here in 1990 and still this area kept on building houses all over. Funny, if there wasn't enough water before the housing boom, how can there be enough now?
on Jan 20, 2014 at 5:14 pm
I applaud Brown for trying to get people to voluntarily cut back (voluntary for now, anyway). But I DO have two politically-oriented comments:
- The concern expressed above, namely that we will reduce our water usage, and then EBMUD will ask for a rate increase to make up for "lost revenue", IS a very valid concern. It is also true that EBMUD's actual cost structure does have a high fixed-cost component, that is independent of usage. But the current rate structure doesn't "line up" with this sort of cost structure. The rate structure is designed to subsidize low-usage customers at the expense of higher-usage customers, by having a very low "zero-usage" base cost (the price of just having service), low rates for the first xxxx gallons used, and then rapidly-increasing tiered rates for higher usage. This is all well and good for encouraging conservation, and for giving lower-income people a break (i.e., people without lawns, and especially, people without pools). But it also creates the problem of EBMUD not covering their fixed costs, as people conserve more. It would make more sense to have a higher starting rate, mostly independent of usage, and then lower rates for consumed water, so as to better match EBMUD's actual cost structure. You could still charge more for high-usage above some threshhold. But the pricing scheme should be less usage-sensitive, overall. (Note that this is independent of "side issues", such as whether EBMUD's salary structures, pension liabilities, etc., are warranted....)
- My other comment is that maybe this drought will convince people of the pressing need for greater reservoir capacity. I get the fact that there is little chance of new dams and reservoirs. BUT, can we at least consider the more practical option of raising dam heights by some incremental amount, to increase the capacities of existing reservoirs? Obviously this isn't practical at all reservoirs, due to geography, not to mention homes and businesses on shorelines, etc. But there ARE viable candidates for reservoir capacity increases. And can we also forget about tearing down the Hetch-Hetchy dam, at least for now? We need the capacity. (And while the original Hetch-Hetchy Valley is/was incredibly beautiful, I would argue that the lake/reservoir is also very beautiful... What, you don't like lakes?)
Frankly, improvements to our water supply are far more important than a bullet train that will probably never be as cheap as Southwest Airlines...