The drought in California has caused a number of water related issues to come to light and more importantly exposed the inadequate systems currently in place to deal with this recurring phenomenon. Many different attempts were made to address the problems of water retention, consumption, delivery, and so on. All of them included money, more specifically your money. The state introduced a $7.5 billion dollar bond measure to help address water storage as well as a host of other issues, but to this day very little has been actually accomplished in terms of projects. The long implementation can be argued for in terms of due diligence in making sure the best projects are awarded funds. Water rates also went up as conservation became a mandated rule for everyone. Who can argue that making water more expensive will cause people to use less of it. Imposed watering restrictions also occurred and the overall outcome was in fact a water reduction. All these steps and a good amount of rain this past winter led to the water crisis subsiding a bit here in California.
So now that the crisis is no more, although still an issue, a person of normal intelligence would assume that things would begin to stabilize. Apparently that is not he case in La Mirada and surrounding areas such as Whittier. The water provider in this area, Suburban Water Systems owned by SouthWest Water Company, has decided to ask the California Public Utility Commission to approve a 31% rate increase over the next 3 years. This will add about $20 a month to an average water bill per home. While some might say this is a small amount, in fact it is enormous considering not only the drastic jump from the current average price, but more importantly when recent increases and bond repayment are added we begin to realize the fact that we are being suffocated. This represents and extra $240 dollars a year that families must spend and get nothing in return. Add this to the more than 10 tax increases we experienced in the last several years and you arrive at the same question other have. When will it end?
Suburban Water has claimed their infrastructure is aging and in need of replacement which is understandable. However, did this infrastructure age overnight? No! It has been nearly 70 years in the making. Why is it only now being addressed? What have we been paying for over the last 70 years? This problem is the direct result of gross mismanagement and lack of foresight to deal with an issue that should have been dealt with years ago. Suburban had no plan for its infrastructure? Did they not realize that some day they would have to address this very issue? But of course they calculated water delivery in you bill every month so we have been paying for it. Then why is it only now becoming a problem? Their second claim and likely more upsetting is that people are not using as much water so they do not make enough money to continue to run their operation. What an interesting paradox, we were using to much water so the rates went up, now are using to little water so rates must also go up. How about you adjust your operation to the appropriate size in order to provide the needed service at the current level.
It is most upsetting to be constantly asked to sacrifice for the supposed sake of society, yet those asking fail time and time again to show they can be trusted. It seems to be a never ending cycle of increasing costs of living while the standard of living seems to slip more and more. At what point is it ever enough and at what point can the taxpayer no longer hold up the immense bureaucracy that has been created. Instead of solutions we get more problems and as more problems arise, more money is needed to address them. I am certainly looking forward to a day when solutions outnumber problems though I feel such a day is but a dream akin to walking on water or sleeping on a cloud.