SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Steve Fox (D-Palmdale) on Tuesday announced he requested the State Auditor examine Antelope Valley water rates. The request was made in response to area service providers’ applications to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to increase rates by as much as 60 percent over a one- to three-year period.
“Some families in the Antelope Valley have to decide whether they should pay their water bills or buy food and medicine,” said Fox. “Water is a human necessity and if it is inaccessible due to its cost, we need to address that situation.”
In his letter to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC), Fox requested an audit of local water providers to understand the process used to determine water rates, to identify factors that contribute to these rates, and the major differences in the water rates charged by each water supplier. Fox also requested the State Auditor provide recommendations for making water more cost effective in the Antelope Valley.
According to State Auditor’s Analysis of Audit Request, the audit will include water providers Quartz Hill Water District, Palmdale Water District, California Water Service (CalWater), and the Los Angeles County Waterworks District No. 40. The review will examine the laws and rules that are applicable to these agencies, the process used by each provider to establish rates, an assessment of the differences between supplier rates, and identification of actions taken by these suppliers to keep rates reasonable.
“Today in America, water should not be a luxury item,” continued Fox. “People need to feel confident that their government is looking out for their basic needs.”
UPDATED 8/22/13: Fox’s request for the State Auditor to examine Antelope Valley water rates was granted with bipartisan consent by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC).
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