The Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District’s board voted today to continue the water supply cut that’s brought mandatory use restrictions throughout Southern California.

Metropolitan, the largest supplier to the San Diego County Water Authority (which in turn supplies local cities), also voted to increase its rates again, the latest in a series of increases.

Here’s what that means in San Diego:

The Supply Cut: The county water authority is likely to continue some type of supply cut. The question, said Bob Yamada, the authority’s water resources manager, is whether the agency will recommend mandatory conservation (like we have now) or voluntary conservation (like what started in July 2007). Either way, Metropolitan will allocate 8 percent less water to the region than it did historically. The question is how that gets managed. The authority will decide that in May.

The Rate Increase: Metropolitan is hiking its average rates by 7.5 percent, effective Jan. 1, 2011.

That’s actually going to mean a 12 percent increase for the county water authority, said Eric Sandler, its chief financial officer. The reason? Metropolitan is increasing the rate it charges to transport some of the water authority’s supplies from the Colorado River.

It’s too soon to say what that increase will mean for your water bill. But one thing is sure: It’s going up.

And it’ll go up again. Metropolitan approved a second 7.5 percent increase going into effect Jan. 1, 2012.


Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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