Dear Editor:

The city is proposing water and wastewater water (sewer) rates increases. It is complicated for many to understand.

While it seems laudable that we achieve water sustainability by digging more wells so we use less water that is now obtained from the MWD (Metropolitan water district) and costs more. The city’s goals note this should be accomplished by 2023 with these proposed increases.

In 2015 when the last drought was affecting all of California, the city proposed raising water rates with this same goal of being free of importing MWD water by 2020.

We have not even decreased the amount we get in that period but rather increased it! In 2015/2016 the city purchased 24% of our water from MWD. In 2017/2018 the city purchased 35% of our water from MWD. No recent amounts are noted in the report the city used to determine the increases proposed.

The proposed water rate increase is 20% in year 1, 18% in year 2 and 14% per year after that. Editor’s Note: The combined increase over five years is 109 percent.

The proposed wastewater water rates increase 10% for the first 4 years then 3% for the last year for a cumulative increase of 48%.

However that is not all that will increase. Two new fixed rate charges will be added.

A fixed water rate charge and a fixed wastewater service charge.

These charges will also go up with the proposed % raise of each service.

Then these increased charges will be totaled and subjected to a 10% UUT or utility user tax.

Tier levels will be lowered for amounts of water consumed to encourage use of only 55 gallons per person per day.

Presently my husband and I achieve this goal. We have diligently conserved water since the drought in late 80’s. However when I compared a current bill and did the math my bill will go up over $30 or over a 100% on these two services in the first year. It will be up or $70 or 226% in 5 years.

Protests can be made by a property owner or customer on record. Condo owners in a master metered building should use their address and APN number.

There are two forms, one for each service. These forms must be mailed to the city’s clerk office by Tuesday Jan 28 or delivered in person that day by the time the public hearing occurs that night at city council.

It must include service address or addresses of the property. An APN or assessors parcel number can also be used. The name of owner or customer must be printed and a signature and date as well.

These forms are available online:

If the city truly wishes to be sustainable they must stop accepting new development proposals. It seems to me with the massive developments now being built and the future proposals of over 9000 housing units in the next 8 years we will still be importing water from MWD and paying a lot more our bills.

Linda Lancaster

Santa Monica

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