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The Drought Is Over EBMUD Needs To Respond

Original post made by JRM, Vista Grande Elementary School, on Mar 30, 2011

Our water rates have risen astronomically, FAR outpacing inflation over the last few years, to of course invoke monetary pain if we did not cut back individually on water usage in order to save and use the economic hammer to invoke us all to change consumption behavior. Without challenging their baseline formulas for each of our bills...(do you really understand yours? I do not and I have a college degree) but enough is enough...times are tough, water bills are "after tax dollars" as we say and I feel now is the time for EBMUD to respond to the cascade of moisture and adjust rates...we were at 104% of normal last year, and now at 165% of normal in the Sierra snowpack. The reservoirs are releasing water like mad to prevent flooding. Let's speak up and demand a rollback of "drought" past imposed rate increases which are no longer justifiable. We may find a lamentable familiar salary and pension abuse....can anyone enlighten us how much these guys actually make and when they can retire? Is this public information?

Comments (6)

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Posted by Reminder
a resident of Alamo
on Mar 30, 2011 at 5:41 pm

The rototiller is such an improvement over a lawn mower, don't you think?

Just a reminder that water is not a resource, it is a commodity, most often sold in expensive bottles.

Just how expensive is it to your readers?

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Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 30, 2011 at 8:32 pm

jrm is a registered user.

Please do not pollute this thread Hal....we all wish you well, but this issue is costing us all a LOT of money....I wish you well, but many of us find your posts irrevelent and concerning, to be frank. Can you get a life for a week or two and go to Sottsdale and get away? No disrespect of my elders, but maybe your significant other can say "honey, let's take a break from the Danville Express for a while"...

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Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Mar 31, 2011 at 10:24 am

JRM: I agree (with both of your posts)...It is time for our elected politicians to stop grandstanding and slugging partisan mud back and forth, and start looking at bipartisian common sense ways to protect the interest of their constitutents that they were elected to represent, such as demanding that EBMUD roll back the rates to pre-drought rates, and put some money back into consumers hands so they can spend in our local economy and not on government monopolies.

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Posted by psmacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Apr 1, 2011 at 11:14 am

I think that I can agree with jrm on this one.

I never trust it when ANY governmental agency (in this case, a utility granted a government-allowed monopoly) tries to force the alteration of its citizens behavior in ways that it "deems best," rather than letting us formulate and control our own behavior.
This artificial use of a pricing structure (or taxation structure) is a much-utilized governmental tactic that is usually wrong from the start--a method to force its philosophical ideas and beliefs upon us, regardless of our agreement or disagreement thereto (and often devoid of true logic or real scientific proof behind their concepts).

In this case, yes, end the higher pricing systems that were "justified" on the grounds of drought which no longer exists.

However, watch out for the ENSUING ARGUMENT (that has been used before) that, now that people are using less water (and conserving more), the utility is not making as much money as before (not selling as much water) and therefore needs to charge EVEN MORE to cover it's ordinary operational costs and make a "reasonable" profit for its investors. Here is where jrm would probably add the question, Is the utility paying unreasonably large salaries and pension packages as part of what it is claiming to be "ordinary costs."

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Posted by bz
a resident of Danville
on Apr 1, 2011 at 11:40 am

Thank you for bringing this issue to the fore, JRM!! I couldn't agree more!

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Posted by C. R. Mudgeon
a resident of Danville
on Apr 1, 2011 at 2:31 pm

psmacintosh hit the nail on the head - the reduced usage as people conserved water (in part due to the higher drought rates) "forces" EBMUD to maintain the higher rates, since less money is coming in.

It is no doubt true that most of EBMUDs costs are semi-independent of the volume of water that flows to their customers. If our water bills were truly cost-based, they would be largely fixed, and not affected that much by our usage. The current billing structure, with escalating tiered rates as usage goes up, is intended to encourage conservation (and it does, to a fair degree). I don't see EBMUD wanting to lower rates, even if the drought is over. Partly this is due to the fact that while this year's snow is good for this coming year, and probably provides a good buffer for the following year, there is not that much over-capacity in our reservoirs. So in two years, a dry winter will have us right back at drought-level. CA doesn't really suffer from a lack of water. It suffers from a lack of reservoir capacity to "bank" that water. As evidenced by the fact that we are already releasing water at high rates. We can't build up much of a reserve in the really wet years, without having greater reservoir capacity (and as we all know, building a new dam would likely result in the end of all life as we know it...).

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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