Public Water Now advocates public ownership of our water supply system. Private for-profit water systems, like Cal Am, raise the cost of our water and take decisions out of our hands.
In 2018, Public Water Now (PWN) put Measure J on the ballot. Voters passed it by 56%, mandating that the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (MPWMD) proceed with a buyout of Cal Am’s local water system if and when feasible. The buyout was found to be feasible in late 2019. In April 2023, MPWMD made Cal Am an offer of $449 million. Cal Am refused to sell and in October 2023, the MPWMD board of directors voted to buyout Cal Am using eminent domain.
We have the most expensive water in the country according to the 2017 Food & Water Watch Study and water bills continue to rise! Many people have seen their bills double or triple since Cal Am revised its rate structure and pricing in March 2017.
Today 87% of U.S. consumers get their water from publicly owned systems for good reason. On average, the cost for privately owned water runs 59% higher than publicly owned water across the country.
The resolution to the Peninsula’s long standing water supply shortage under Cal Am’s ownership is in sight thanks to the visionary work of Monterey One Water and the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District. The Pure Water Monterey project has been delivering one third of our water for several years now and the Carmel River is no longer threatened. The expansion of Pure Water Monterey is underway and will be completed in late 2025. Its completion will give us water for new housing and lift the CDO and the moratorium on new water hookups.
Cal Am continues to promote its desal, but with the PWM Expansion the Peninsula has no need for it. Cal Am’s desal would raise our water bills by at least 60%.
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