Tag Archives: Senator Jim Nielsen

City of Lancaster issues a resolution in support of the Statewide Coalition to End Water Rate Abuse

2 Dec

Larry Grooms of the Water Rates Coalition sent me this news from the city of Lancaster in Southern California. 

See other news at their website here:  https://www.waterratescoalition.com/updates

RESOLUTION NO. 17-58

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF LANCASTER, CALIFORNIA, IN SUPPORT OF A STATEWIDE COALITION OF COMMUNITIES, UNDER THE WORKING TITLE OF COALITION TO END WATER RATE ABUSE, CALLING FOR THE INTRODUCTION AND PASSAGE OF STATEWIDE LEGISLATION TO REFORM THE RATEMAKING PROCESS FOR INVESTOR-OWNED, FOR-PROFIT WATER UTILITIES IN CALIFORNIA

WHEREAS, the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) Water Division regulates 113 investor-owned water and sewer utilities, servicing 16% of state residents, with 95% of that number being served by 9 large water utilities, each serving 10,000 or more connections, with annual revenues of $1.4 billion; and
WHEREAS, these investor-owned, for-profit water utilities charge water customer rates that are often three to five times higher than those charged by publicly-owned utilities, often directly adjacent to privately-owned systems; and
WHEREAS, in its rate cases, the CPUC is charged with protecting both the fiscal stability of the for-profit water utilities and the interests of ratepayers; and
WHEREAS, the CPUC’s Office of Ratepayer Advocates consistently favors the interests of investor-owned utilities over the interests of California residents and ratepayers; and
WHEREAS, this institutional and systematic imbalance has resulted in excessively high water rates, annual double-digit rate increases in water bills, and financial hardship to residents and homeowners throughout the state; and
WHEREAS, over the past decade, many cities and communities, including Lancaster, have sought relief for their residents through the CPUC, legislature, and/or courts, at significant cost and with little meaningful success.

NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF LANCASTER, CALIFORNIA, DOES HEREBY RESOLVE, DECLARE, DETERMINE AND ORDER AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. That the Lancaster City Council supports statewide legislative reforms to the CPUC ratemaking process to achieve fair, equitable, and financially affordable rates for California customers of investor-owned, for-profit water utilities.

SECTION 2. That the Lancaster City Council supports the statewide Coalition to End Water Rate Abuse in its efforts to achieve fair and equitable protection for the rights of all ratepayers served by investor-owner, for-profit water utilities through legislative relief and/or class action litigation.

SECTION 3. That the goals of the Coalition to End Water Rate Abuse are consistent with the Lancaster City Council’s more than two-year-long effort to pursue equitable and fair relief for its residents served by the investor-owned, for-profit water utility, California Water Service Company.

PASSED, APPROVED and ADOPTED this 14 th day of November, 2017, by the following vote: Unanimous

Look at the WRC website link – State Senator Scott Wilk and Assemblyman Tom Lackey have written a letter questioning rate increases and WRAM – the “water rate adjustment mechanism” by which Cal Water punishes us for conserving too much. 

We’ve been asleep here ever since Cal Water’s bid to stick us in a district with Marysville and Oroville – raising our rates to cover their long-neglected infrastructure – was overturned by protests from the cities involved. Yes, City of Chico actually raised a finger to that maneuver, although, the public was never allowed in on that conversation.

 My family and our tenants have drastically cut our usage but our bills are still higher than they were two years ago. 

So, it’s time to write to your state representatives and ask them to join in on this inquiry. Quote the letter from Wilk and Lackey, and add some figures from your past water bills. 

Assemblyman Jim Gallagher – https://ad03.asmrc.org/

Senator Jim Nielsen –  http://nielsen.cssrc.us/

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