James Hunter

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Drought 2014, Will SJWC water rates increase?

 US/California Drought Map 2014
California has droughts because most of our water depends on rain and snow during each winter. When the weather patterns change as they do over multi-year cycles, as we've seen over the last several years, our reservoirs storage capacity, is too small. Conservation is one of the answers to the water shortage problem, but San Jose Water Company attempted to justify the current pending 41% rate increase, based on successfully reducing consumption, through conservation efforts,  thus reducing the SJWC revenue and the profit of SJW Corporation. This is based on "fixed" costs that San Jose Water Company and SJW Corporation are unwilling to be open and transparent about.

The impact on SJWC and Santa Clara County based on the California State Water Project announcement is estimated at 1% of the water being used. In comparison the impact on: (1) Zone 7 Water Agency, Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin will loose 80% of it's imported CSWP water (2) Alameda County Water District, Fremont, Newark and Union City will loose 40% of it's imported CSWP water, unless we get unusually heavy rains, over the next three months. Other parts of the bay area depend on other sources, for example Hetch Hetchy, many water districts have banked water in aquifers (can be pumped during dry years). 

So, it's likely that the "regulatory affairs staff" at SJWC will try very hard to raise our rates again based on the short fall in revenues, based on our water conversation.

Obviously we need to conserve water, but only the actual costs of, "ratepayer conservation programs", should be passed through to us.  Which implies the question, should the added conservation program charges include profit for SJW Corporation? We need an open transparent disclosure, of any added charges or increase in our water rates. We potentially have a "drought emergency", let's be sure it's not an excuse to justify more corporate profits. SJW Corporation just increased their dividend!

If you agree with the need to conserve water, but are concerned about the effect on our water rates, please send a message to:

If you are concerned about the issues, send email to CPUC at:
District 5 United eForm eMail  Simply click on the "eForm eMail" and you will get a page to fill out the information and specify the reason for your opposition to the SJWC 44% Rate Increase and your concern about lack of progress and are concerned that we are not being informed in a timely manner, of the status of the 44% Rate Increase!

You can also send an email to CPUC Public Advisopublic.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov  The Public Advisor will insure your email will be sent to all the appropriate CPUC staff members.

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