Water cost fraud
Posted in the San Diego Forum
#1 Oct 9, 2012
DON'T WASTE WATER !
We hear this over and over again from public officials.
Yet they raise our rates when we use less!
This contradiction led me to examine the figures:
Turns out we are forced to pay at least $246 per year
even if we use less than 12 gallons per day.
But our neighbors may use 350 times as much
and pay just 5 times as much for it.
Costs us $40 for 1,000 gallons.
Costs them ten cents for that amount.
Should we each try hard to use less water so that some
folks will have plenty for their landscapes and pools?
Think on this:
Water district officials abuse their powers to extort $250 million
from us yearly for the privilege of having a water hookup.
But they would not need to take anywhere near this much
from us if the need to import water was corrected.
(More than 1.1 trillion gallons falls on our county yearly, enough
for five times its population. But officials would lose their job
security and fine perks if they stored it as State Law instructs.)
The half-billion dollar San Vicente Dam project was wholly
unnecessary but now we are stuck with that debt to pay off
even if we do elect competent and honest officials for a change.
In summary: Of course some folks waste far more water than we use!
$100 per month is a small price to pay for more than twice
as much water as the national average per household.
Does all this sound impossible? You do the math.
Our grotesquely unfair rate structure is cleverly disguised
but if you're handy with a calculator you can scooe it out.
FROM SDCWA BILLING WEBSITE
Base Fee is $246 yearly.
First 14 HCF used are billed at $3.612 per HCF [748 gallons]
Second 14 HCF used are billed at $3.917 per HCF.
Each HCF used after the initial 28 HCF is billed at $4.398 per HCF
Perhaps I'll expand on this theme to illuminate games played by
Professional Engineers whose primary concern is perpetuating
their feather beds in our deeply entrenched bureaucracies.
I welcome their critiques but most would not want to contribute
to a discussion that might stir up a public that has no clue as
to the depth of this fraud.
Of course I'm not very good at arithmetic.
Perhaps delusional. Definitely old.
Should be pretty easy for a smart PE
to refute my facts and figures.
#3 Oct 9, 2012
and pay your bill, whinny bi ya tch
#4 Oct 21, 2012
Apparently none who scan this forum mind paying more than $500 yearly for water that should be costing about $150 and be virtually unlimited without fines, penalties and special times for use.
If local news sources had informed us that the total bill, in taxes-mortgage payments-fees-assessments, is over $5,200 per household yearly and climbing fast perhaps more of us would be concerned.
The simple, minor modification of landscapes to store enough rainwater for all needs would progressively end flooding, pollution, and water shortage. This would eliminate justification for the $4 billion additional that officials are saying we will have to pay and allow our hugely bloated public works bureaus to be cut back to sensible size.
With 10 times as much rain falling on San Diego County as we use there can be no good reason for the billions spent in recent years expanding the importation system, with frequent rate hikes and now a plan to spend another billion buying water from an absurd desalination scheme.
But as long as water customers don't care enough to speak out the officials who have been criminally negligent will continue to raise our taxes and utility costs even though these should be falling as a result of improved technologies and much more than enough pure, free rainwater.
#5 Nov 2, 2012
Mira Mesa's 10,500 acres of roofs, roads and landscapes receive more than a foot of rainfall yearly on average. That's enough to provide all the water our 23,000 homes need if they use 100 gallons per person daily, the National average. Yet we meekly pay $30 million extortion to water profiteers who sell us water they steal from public supplies hundreds of miles away.
About 95% of our rainfall evaporates or runs off to the ocean at Del Mar because the politicians we elected let the public works managers they appointed persuade them that it makes sense to throw this away "to prevent flooding".(So how come heavy rains flood many parts of our community?)
Back in '54 the residents of Fresno got so mad about the same waste of their rainwater that they elected a new set of politicians who took control of their rainwater away from their County. Since then they've been saving enough of their rainfall (it is less than ours) to meet their needs.
Grandparents of the present generation of Fresnans saved billions of dollars for homebuyers over the years because there was no need for storm drains, flood control facilities and water importation. Though their incomes are much lower they've saved enough tax dollars to support public services properly because they didn't have to feed bloated Public Works departments like ours, that throw away rainwater, and a corrupted County Water District like ours that imports a replacement for it.
We San Diegans have been pretty silly, collectively, allowing the "Chinatown" scam to be perpectrated here.(Saving less than 10% of our rainfall so that it appears necessary to import water.) But a forum like this could bring enough sensible people together to give us what those folks in Fresno got by working together.
#6 Nov 9, 2012
Do water district managers instruct Professional Engineers and Staff to provide misleading information and false premises to politicians so that inappropriate planning and policies will be approved?
How else can we explain the contradiction of watching billions of gallons of stormwater run off to the ocean while billions of gallons of stormwater from hundreds of miles away are imported at huge cost?
Without this absurd planning most of those engineers and staff would soon be unemployed. This is ample incentive for them to do as they are told.
Like phony 'liberals' re-elected because they exploited the ignorance - fears - wishful thinking of voters, senior public servants focus upon gaining power and protecting their job security by deceiving us, not by doing their jobs as instructed by State and federal law.
Buying water from MWD while dumping our water downstream is a fool's game that foolish new politicians will be persuaded to accept as 'necessary and proper'. Every competent civil engineer knows this but they also know that their career will be dead if they discuss it.
#7 Nov 26, 2012
149,659 posts about a judges ban on same-sex marriage
12,348 posts about legalizing marijuana
No discussion of how our health-safety-welfare and quality
of life will be diminished by a decision of several appointed
water district officials this week who could waste another two
billion of our dollars on a criminal scheme to desalinate water..
Land-water-energy management decisions dictate every
aspect of our lives yet public forums are dominated by
people who focus upon relatively inconsequential aspects
while sensible people are too busy or fearful to speak out.
We are all getting "another day older and deeper in debt" on
this huge plantation of California where citizens of each
race have become slaves once again because they do not
discuss critical issues so that they can vote wisely.
#8 Dec 2, 2012
San Diego's water bill rate structure that forces the vast majority of San Diegans - who have no significant lawns - to provide lots of cheap water to keep large private landscapes green was exposed tem years ago by Thomas Larson. HE painted an amazingly well-defined picture of in THE READER, exposing blatantly inequitable pricing of water by public servants. This excellent investigative journalism obviously had no effect upon the public or its county and city managers of water districts. The present rate structure is still steeply slanted to guarantee plenty of cheap water for elegant landscapes and pools
Flushed with its success in fooling us the County water district has now moved another step toward pleasing the prominent minority that can afford large beautiful lawns by pushing through the Carlsbad Desalination plant purchase. This will dilute the salty Colorado River water it switched to recently, halting cumulative damage to the non-native trees and grasses of customers who can afford them.
With a majority of our water supply going to irrigation this is no minor matter. Most homes use less than half as much water as the National average because they have been battered daily by ads (paid for with their money) telling them they'd be fined or penalized or unpatriotic if they don't reduce their usage. The many browned-out lawns that depreciate the value of tract home areas demonstrate how successful this campaign has been.
The ongoing $3.4 billion water supply expansion plan in process and the Carlsbad scheme would in fact be entirely unnecessary if gross overuse by a very small percent of homes was corrected. But that is not about to happen of course, we cannot expect wealthy people to give up their 'trophy' landscapes or pay the full cost of additional water needed to support them. Its much more effective to fool the vast majority of water customers into paying the bill for additional water and for the pensions of entrenched bureaucrats whose jobs depend upon pleasing the influential wealthy sector or our society they hang out with.
#9 Dec 11, 2012
We in San Diego pay $2.10 to MWD for a thousand gallons of water and this has just tripled for 10% of our water supply that will come from desalination.
Meanwhile our public works department continues to require that hew homesites are graded to dump all their rainwater to the street or drainage ditches. Plus it promises to impose fines if landowners apply the simple, cheap grading techniques that retain rainwater so that it can soak into the soil and fill wells in compliance with the CA Water Code.
Why do our politicians allow the managers of our agencies to defy State law that orders them to save "all or any stormwaters in soils
Why do we elect politicians not smart enough to see the foolishness of letting 95% of our rainwater be lost to the ocean or avoidable evaporation?
#10 Jan 12, 2013
California's water cost fraud, that has become an economic 'death spiral', began 115 years ago when a corrupt LA Mayor and City Council cut off funding for their highly successful rainwater management program. This forced brilliant Chief Engineer Mulholland, who created the program, to join their scheme by manufacturing an apparance of water shortage. And that illusion (theme of the classic movie "Chinatown") promoted by the two major newspapers (whose owners shared in the land development syndicate's windfall profits) frightened the public into approving a huge bond for a water importation pipeline from Owens Valley.
This scheme set the pattern of consistent bond overspending for unneeded projects that has created California's massive debt. What started as a simple land/water/energy scam became standard rainwater 'disposal' practice that is now wasting more than $5,200 taken by taxes-fees-utility costs from an average household yearly ($62 billlion total) to enrich the private sector and public servants it corrupts.
Today the county managers of California's seven South Coast counties deliberately 'dispose of' 5.4 trillion gallons of their rainfall to justify importing 800 billion. This guarantees their job security by enriching the land development interests who misguide them and us.
#11 Jan 28, 2013
A retired Clairemont engineer calculated that his water bill for June/july 2012, 24 gallons daily average use, cost him $3.10 cents per 100 gallons. He then calculated his La Jolla friend's water bill to find daily use of 841 gallons at a cost of just 7 cents per 100 gallons. His question: How can this be a fair apportionment of water costs when he pays 44 times as much? I answered that it is totally inequitable, of course, but few voters realize this so continue to elect and re-elect the professional politicians who permit it.
His efforts to reduce his water use to that low rate stand out in sharp contrast to the other customer who use 44 times as much just because it is so cheap. Most overusers would reduce their usage dramatically if they had to pay a fair share of the recent multibillion-dollar projects that would not be needed if they just caught their own rainfall to meet their outside needs.(About 300,000 gallons falls yearly on a one-acre lot in La Jolla.) But the "base cost" we all pay ($1/3 billion yearly) forces all of us to provide free water to those few.
New homes should of course be designed to store their rainfall to meet their needs, as in Fresno and Phoenix, and old ones that use more than the national average (300 gallons daily) should be required to retrofit this capability so that the rest of us will not have to subsidize their water use. But land developers and builders have a louder $ voice to prevent this than the few people who see how badly we are being swindled through water bills.
The constant annoying radio ads we pay for telling us to "conserve" water are a joke, mere tokens intended to make our water managers appear concerned and capable while they protect their job security, high salaries and pensions by pleasing generous poltical campaign contributors.
Officials are charging that engineer and his friend equally for maintenance of water lines built half a century ago but they do not charge his friend a fair percentage of the costs for increaing the water supply.
Council member Sherri Lightner has made some moves in the direction of correcting this grossly inequitable system but our news media prefers to ignore the matter.(The Reader and Voice have presented some opinions, not well-enough informed, about the overusage.) Without strong support she cannot get the job done so the high rollers will continue to get a free ride.
#12 Feb 22, 2013
News reporters frequently tell us "an acre-foot is as much water as two homes use in a year"
This is grossly deceptive because a typical household uses about 60,000 gallons yearly, so an acre-foot will supply the needs of 5.4 homes. That statement exaggerates the need for water by 2.5, enough to badly distort the picture of water supply for politicians who don't do their homework so that they recognize false testimony from the Chief Engineers they appoint.
The 140 gallons per person daily average use that water district wordsmiths claim is arrived at by including the 55% of our water supply used to maintain lush landscapes and pastures for those who can afford estates. In fact, more than half of all San Diegan's use less than 55 gallons per day.
This simple deception has fooled the public into accepting a need to import more the twice as much water as tupical homes use. This has created new debt against our homes of more than $8,000 in the past decade, with much more to come in the near future because our public servants plan to keep on throwing away our rainwater, more than ten times our needs.
#13 Mar 21, 2013
If our County's public servants had complied with State regulations (the California Water Code of 1945) 23 years ago then their actions would have saved enough tax dollars to give us good roads, schools, a new Chargers stadium, better health care. But they defied State laws and spent;
a)$2 billion-plus for imported water
b)$3.6 billion for dams/tunnel improvements
c)$1 billion-plus for flood control construction
d)$3.5 billion for the Carlsbad desalination plant
and plan to spend $4 billion more for stormwater treatment facilities
San Diego's County water district and public works chiefs knew this work was unnecessary but they rejected federally-recommended/funded planning and fooled politicians into ignoring it just to expand their salaries and pensions.
Half of this $14.1 billion has already been spent, it's literally water under the bridge. But if our politicians do their homework the Carlsbad desalination plant and stormwater treatment projects could still be recognized as brazen scams and terminated, cutting our losses.
If we voters continue to elect people who cannot or will not find good information then we'll lose the entire $14 billion. But if we do their homework for them and speak out firmly then an average $7,000 will not be extorted from each household's budget. Do we care enough to give our very best effort in protecting the health, safety and welfare of family and friends?.
#14 Apr 28, 2013
Over ten billion $ in new debt has been approved by County Water Authority officials in the past five years even though we have reducved our water use dramatically,
It provided 234 billion gallons in 2007
It provided 154 billion gallons in 2012
The reduction in usage was greater than the new capacity that will be gained by raising a dam and building a desalinator.
So we will be forced to pay for water facilities we don't need by clever water profiteers and a desal con game that bought its approval.
Our kids won't thank us for these useless facilities sitting idle while they pay huge water bills to meet the interest on this bond debt.
#15 May 15, 2013
Looks like a public servant or civil engineer does not like our inferences of inappropriate planning by County land and water agency managers.
Obviously not someone capable of critiquing our facts and figues, though.
Perhaps TOPIX moderators will please this person and the "powers that be" in our private sector by ending our membership like the County did last week.
Our posts to SDCWA's online forum annoyed someone enough to rescind it.
"You cannot post new topics in this forum"
"You cannot reply to topics in this forum"
"You cannot delete your posts in this forum"
It's not like we overworked our "privilege", only three posts
in four months, and nothing controversial like we post here.
We were pleased that 950 plus folks read our "Stormwater Management Planning" and "Comprehensive Watershed Management Planning" threads, but that fact seems likely to be the reason we can't post anymore.
A journalist member of our group says our words could not possibly be construed offensive except to public servants with a guilty conscience, and using the SDCWA forum is a right, not a privilege.
We invite comment on the appropriateness of our posts to the SDCWA-IRWM forum: < http://sdirwmp.org/forum/> ;
#16 Sep 21, 2013
Looks like members of this forum are too concerned about the phony
*crisis* situations our agency managers and news reporters invent to see
that they are dumping another $14,000 billion in debt on us.
With about a million homes in the county that is $14,000 dollars per
household that will have to be paid off, an average $700 more per year
from a typical family, because we elected a majority of fools and crooks.
Federal experts pointed out that this was completely avoidable, all we need
to do is catch one gallon in five of our rainwater to meet all our needs.
It is unfortunate that our news services are content to repeat bald-face
lies posted by our public servants so that we keep on electing nitwits
and professional liars.
We snoozed so now we lose.
#17 Oct 2, 2013
County Public Works officials are planning to spend another four billion of our dollars building runoff water treatment devices to comply with Federal rules. Yet they continue to plan/design landscapes that dump all rainwater as runoff to streams carrying fertilizers-feces-oil-grease-m etals-pesticides-herbicides-fu ngicides.
A high school science class could revise this outdated approach to managing stormwater so that it complies with the California Water Code requiring that "all or any stormwaters be guided into soils of the District". But the politicians we elect are too deficient in either common sense or personal integrity to hire public seervants who will design our landscapes properly.
By the time this new program is completed we may be sure it will cost more than double the predicted amount so that our taxes will have to be raised by another $800-$900 a year on average to repay the bond debt plus the salaries and pensions of the Chief Engineer and his senior staff. These experts know this program could be avoided by mimicking the simple stormwater management rules of Fresno that meet all household water needs by guiding all stormwater underground.
Citizens who don't bother to inform themselves become victims of the entrenched bureaucrats who fool politicians and reporters into ignoring flagrant violations of law and common sense.
#18 Nov 10, 2013
Who is misusing our news media to make us stupid?
If reporters had informed us that Congreeman Filner
was a serial groper would we have elected him Mayor?
Why are we collectively ignorant of the fact that federal
experts advise us to save at least 12% of our rainfall
because this would meet all our water needs, end flooding,
and correct stream pollution as regulators are demanding?
News services ignored the Poway school bond scandal
(repaying a billion dollars for a 105 million loan)
until the deal was closed. So residents did not get angry
soon enough to demand that this extortion be avoided.
SD reporters told us the Carlsbad Desalinator would cost
$954 million. LA Times posted $3,5 billion as its true cost.
The Equinox Center website tells us that pumping water
throughout California uses 20% of our electricity, with no
mention that nearly all of our cheap hydropower is used
by MWD for pumping water, forcing us to pay 3 times as
much for electricity sold by the private sector.
Why haven't we seen illustrations of how and why public
servants throw away 6 times as much water as we use?
#20 Mar 23, 2014
Many of our e-mails and calls this year voiced frustration with
online public forums because moderators allow these to be
trashed by garbage posters. None of the folks who asked us for information or contributed their own were willing to post on any of
the forums because they expect insults, ridicule, intimidation.
Many said sensible people don't browse these forums much
because there's no limit on the frequency of posting and so
many titles are crude, stupid, vulgar, illicit.
A retired journalist in our group discussed the reasons for
deliberately poor management of online 'public forums. She
pointed out that editors have to avoid offending advertisers
so they maintain online forums just for show, allowing agents
of these profiteers to post trash so that the public won't engage
in productive discussions that contribute useful information.
Some of our politicians realize that our public servants in Public
Works and water district offices deliberately dispose of 900 billion
gallons of water in defiance of State law so that they will be able
to import 150 billion that crooks sell to the State and San Diego.
But these few keep their opinions to themselves because they
know the privileges and prestige that comes with their office
would be lost if they try to do their job properly.
But most officials are too ignorant of simple truths about our land-
water-energy management to question the false premises that
corrupted agency managers present to them. They don't bother to
find out that San Diego County receives 1,350 billion gallons of
rainfall yearly and could meet all needs by saving just 12% of it.
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