I am excited to release a new white paper regarding the California Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014, entitled Dark Clouds Over California. Please download the white paper and share with your colleagues. For your convenience, the executive summary is published below. Additionally, the Act is spread across three legislative bills, some of which modify each other, making them difficult to read. A compiled version of the Act is available here. Other provisions of the three bills that are not contained within the main body of the Act may be found here.
Two of the fundamental principles of setting rates for public utilities are that rates should be based on the cost of providing service, and there should be no discrimination between different customers. These rules prevent one or more customers or classes of customers from subsidizing the costs incurred by the utility to provide service to other customers. If the total costs of a utility are seen as a fixed pie, these rules prevent one customer from having to pay for portions of the pie eaten by another customer.
Yesterday the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) adopted Resolution W-5000, which requires all investor-owned water utilities in the state to provide notice to their customers of the mandatory water conservation measures adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) in its emergency regulations that became effective on July 28, 2014. The CPUC had required all Class A and B water utilities within its jurisdiction to activate Tariff Rule 14.1 calling for voluntary reductions in water use on February 28, 2014, in Resolution W-4976. Resolution W-5000 imposes further requirements.
This post gives an overview of the organization of water utilities in California. For this purpose, water utilities are defined as entities that own and operate public drinking water systems at the retail level. There are few sources of information about who provides water utility service in the state, and this post offers only an overview of the topic. The data used for the analysis in this post was derived from a proprietary database I have of all water utilities in California.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved acquisition of the water system assets of Riverview Acres Water Company (RAWC) in Trinity County by Salyer Mutual Water Company (SMWC). The CPUC decision in Resolution No. W-4923 sets forth the criteria for transferring a water system from an investor-owned water utility to a mutual water company and illustrates the relatively favorable view of such transfers by the CPUC.