Laurie Hambaro donated 2018-10-29 19:51:14 -0700
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.Sign up
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.
The process has been moving ahead and MPWMD was ready to make Cal Am an offer, but in December 2021 LAFCO blocked the buyout. MPWMD will sue LAFCO over its politically driven decision and will most likely make Cal Am an initial offer early in 2022. If Cal Am refuses MPWMD has the authority to use eminent domain to buy the system.
We have the most expensive water in the country according to Food & Water Watch 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.
To put the actual cost of our water in perspective, the average cost of publicly owned water across the country was $315 a year for 60,000 gallons, while the average cost of privately owned water was $500 a year. But here on the Peninsula our cost today is $1,500 a year for 60,000 gallons and it’s much higher than that if you use water in the 3rd or 4th tier!
The number of those in our community favoring public ownership has grown as people begin to understand the benefits. Public Water Now currently has over 4,000 local members.
The resolution to the Peninsula’s water supply shortage is in sight. Thanks to 3,500 acre-feet of new water supply from Pure Water Monterey, as of January 2022, we are now in compliance with the State’s Cease and Desist order on the Carmel River. But to lift the moratorium on new hookups and build new housing we need more water from the expansion of Pure Water Monterey.
The approval of the PWM Expansion is finally before the CPUC after three years of obstruction and stalling by Cal Am. Construction should begin this summer or fall.
Cal Am and its supporters in agriculture, real estate and hospitality continue to promote its desal, but with the PWM Expansion the Peninsula has no need for it. And the Coastal Commission is not likely to approve it.
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