James Hunter

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Remunicipalisation, putting water back in the hands of customers

We have been focused on the "outrageous" increases in our water bills, not on the root of the problem. My opinion as a blogger, it's unlikely that the underlying issues will be corrected without significant changes,  SJWC is a wholly owned subsidiary of SJW Corp. and is a privately owned water utility, our visibility into their SJWC actual financials, is limited. CPUC has also been characterized by Richard Roth CEO, as having a "constructive regulatory environment" with CPUC.  I thought CPUC has a mission statement that says:

The California Public Utilities Commission serves the public interest by protecting consumers and ensuring the provision of safe, reliable utility service and infrastructure at just and reasonable rates, with a commitment to environmental enhancement and a healthy California economy. We regulate utility services, stimulate innovation, and promote competitive markets, where possible, in the communications, energy, transportation, and water industries.

We can see that "constructive regulatory environment" means in a current case of SJWC overcharging customers, by failing to pro rate increases. Please read the posts regarding SJWC overcharging customers and the apparent ex parte communications and the resulting attempt to "quash" the Formal Complaint. In this instance instead of the overcharges of $13 million were requested in SJWC Advice Letter 510 to $1.7 million. The advise letters requesting the changes did not include attachments referenced, as usual.

We are not the only city, state or even country that has had significant rate increases due to corporate greed or incompetence.  Over 180 cities have taken back their water and sewage utilities. Why, because corporate ownership works to provide profits to the owners, government ownership provides water for people, California Law states, cities or counties must not operate for a profit. CPUC does not regulate them, they operate based on the California Water Resources Board report as an agency of the local government and must follow the Public Information Laws.

Water Remunicipalisation Tracker Map of USA
The following are some links to learn about remunicipalisation:
This is not a quick fix and has taken some of the cities years to regain control of their water utility. If you look at the map for the America, on the Water Remunicipalisation Tracker,  seven US Cities have taken back or trying to take back their water utility, including Atlanta and Gary and over 280 have also done it worldwide.

The following links to added information about remunicipalisation, were contributed by William Sherman, WRATES. There are and have been a staggering number of local governments and consumer efforts, in the USA to get back the control of water utilities back for the customers:
You can take part in this effort, by simply signing an online petition, commenting on this blog or simple sending a complaint online to CPUC and California Consumer Affairs, tell them "we want our water back".
".victory has 100 fathers and defeat is an orphan.", ". la vittoria ha 100 padri e la sconfitta รจ un orfano ."

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