James Hunter

Thursday, July 27, 2017

A very, very simple diagram of water and money . . . .

The diagram tries to show a very, very simplified version of where the Water you use comes from, suppliers, through a wholesaler (Santa Clara Valley Water District), the retailer for many of us in San Jose and surrounding cities SJWC (San Jose Water Company). 

Money is sent by over 220,000 water consumers and goes from Mr. H2O Consumer. He seems to be very, very surprised by the amount he must pay and the complexity of the bill. Mr. Consumer has little choice he must pay his bill or his water will be turned off, rapidly making his home "unlivable". This blogger thinks that there may be a health standard that is violated and may be grounds for a civil action, in the event this action occurs? When your a quasi-Monopoly as SJWC is termination of service is a very big stick. 

We hear the SJWC litany of fixed costs, infrastructure needs replacement and on, and on. Also it should be noted that SJW profits, revenues and dividends have significantly increased. 

Mr. John Tang's slide presentation, Los Gatos, pointed out that pumps and pipes (infrastructure) only got a D+ grade. I never found out when I talked with him after the meeting, if that was the grade for US or was specifically for SJWC? Blogger has to ask, If it was the grade for SJWC infrastructure, this blogger must ask wheres our money going are we going to be another Flint, MI.

What can Mr. H2O Consumer do? He can file Complaints. Will the complaints do any good? Yes, if Mr. H2O Consumer, his friends, family and his neighbors file complaints, the issues that are causing outrageous water bills and increases many times the rate of inflation, may be investigated.

We have three specific places to send Complaints to SJWC, CPUC and the California Department of Consumer Affairs. You can also take advantage of the social media (Facebook, Google+, Nextdoor, etc., TV stations (Investigate), Newspapers (Mercury News, San Jose Inside, etc.). You can also send Complaints to your elected officials, including elected and appointed commissioners.

The more effective a type of Complaint the more difficult it is to file the Complaint. Over time the requirements to file a Complaint have increased. This blogger has to think that the current process is biased, results in fewer consumer complaints filed and allows water utilities to say, "We get very few consumer Complaints, so there's no problems!".

What Ms., Mrs. and Mr. H2O Consumer can do:

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