Seeks Review of MWD Wheeling Rates by State Supreme Court
The Water Authority on Monday petitioned California's highest court to review an issue of statewide significance -- whether the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California may charge its transportation-only customers costs associated with a service those customers do not purchase. Specifically, the petition asks the Supreme Court to review whether MWD may include in the transportation rates it charges the Water Authority to wheel its conserved Colorado River water, MWD's unrelated State Water Project supply costs.
Central to the case are two pillars of public policy in California: the efficient allocation and conservation of the state's water supplies, and the state's broad commitment to ensure that the price of government services reflects no more than the costs the government incurs in providing them. The petition also urges Supreme Court review because the Court of Appeal decision breaks with a line of prior state appellate court opinions that have appropriately recognized that -- particularly when it comes to water service -- charges must be based on the reasonable cost of the services provided to ensure basic fairness in the prices Californians pay for this basic necessity of life.
Review of the petition by the California Supreme Court is of vital importance to the Water Authority, serving San Diego County's 3.3 million residents, its thriving $222 billion economy and one of the largest concentrations of military facilities in the United States, including the First Marine Division at Camp Pendleton and much of the Navy's Pacific Fleet.