Assemblymember Fox requests audit of AV water rates

Steve Fox

Steve Fox

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).

Previous related stories:

Council members support fight against Cal Water rate hikes

Cal Water customers say rate increase is “all wet”

  26 comments for “Assemblymember Fox requests audit of AV water rates

  1. fluorosis kid
    August 23, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Tell them to remove the fluoride!

  2. fluorosis kid
    August 23, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    How about we get them to stop poisoning us with floride!

  3. Michael Rives
    August 21, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Thanks to new members on the Palmdale Water District Board, some changes have been made for the better such as curtailing some costs and ending the litigation with the City of Palmdale. LA County doesn’t raise the rate water rates maybe no more that a few percentage points. Cal Water is the district the residents are upset about. Supposingly, LA County is looking into annexing the Cal Water district into District 40 of the LA County Waterworks. Assemblyman Fox should concentrate his efforts on this plan and get the California Water Resources Board to assist the county in making the Cal Water part LA County. Steve, focus on this and help these folks!

  4. Jo Banks
    August 21, 2013 at 11:32 am

    It’s about time someone is willing to expose these crooked water companies. Maybe the water companies could save some money by elimating sending their drivers around town to hand deliver past due reminder notices.

  5. Overbilled
    August 21, 2013 at 10:25 am

    You would think with all the solar panels going up the ELECTRIC bills would be going down. especially that “baseline” but it seems to rise. the more solar and alternative electric bills are giving us higher bills. its some sort of plot because as i adjusted my thermostat to 80 degrees and started unplugging everything the bill went up. the f*** up part is the solar companies started calling off the hook just before my bill jumped up to over 400.calling me just because they got a list from Edison of those that pay on average more than 250. it was $123, then 228, then 333 now 435. all increasing after i reduced my usage. and visually see that thousands of solar panels are in use around town and solar fields but if i let them borrow space on my roof I get to owe them too. sucks that our world and business structures are so corrupted with greed.

  6. AVGirl
    August 21, 2013 at 9:58 am

    For those interested in reading the PWD 2013 budget

    It seems the PWD has lost in several litigations and that is where a good portion of the money is needed. Not to mention the water main replacement program. Says that PWD losses 11% of it’s water to these deteriorating pipes.

    I know that there has been a long standing lawsuit regarding the water right in the AV as well

  7. Nikolas Malechikos
    August 21, 2013 at 7:39 am

    One way to significantly reduce your water bill. Remove your grass.

    We removed roughly 1/2 of our grass (entire front yard, and about 25% of back yard), and our water bills are 50% of what they used to be.

    Yes, having affordable access to water is absolutely essential.

    However, using that “affordable” water to grow a nice green lawn? That is NOT essential.

    For some reason which I cannot wrap my head around, too many people in SoCal believe it is their RIGHT to have cheap access to water so that they can have nice, lush, green grass covering thousands of square feet of their property.

    Water is a precious resource. It should not be wasted on landscaping.

    If you CHOOSE to have the lush green landscaping, then you should PAY the exorbitant water bills you are being sent.

    • William
      August 21, 2013 at 8:22 am

      Years ago, I predicted that in the future, after we’ve removed all of all lawns, installed low-flow everything, then they can really jack up the rates cause we won’t be able to conserve any more when we already operate at the minimum possible.

      But, we won’t limit building more homes in the AV, will we?

      • sikntired
        August 21, 2013 at 8:25 am

        Thank you.

      • Nikolas Malechikos
        August 21, 2013 at 8:41 am

        Sprawl definitely needs to be addressed.

        Reworking the master plans and zoning of Palmdale and Lancaster would be the necessary first step. I’m all for that.

        Increasing density will improve efficiency in dozens of areas, reducing overall costs for the City Govt’s and citizens alike.

        • AVGirl
          August 21, 2013 at 9:46 am

          Increased density should not be considered. That means multi-family dwellings (apartments, duplexes, condo’s etc) That would decrease home values.

          I believe there are ordinances either becoming effective or in the works that will require tract builders to provide at least water conserving landscaping for new homes. Already new commercial construction requires it.

          • Nikolas Malechikos
            August 21, 2013 at 10:45 am

            I think all options need to be explored. The new requirements for xeriscaping are great! All of the “new” KB’s located behind my tract (K-8 and between 15th & 20th East) all have xeriscape or rock front yards. Definitely the smart way to go.

            As for density decreasing home values, that doesn’t necessarily need to happen.

            City ordinances and codes could and should be crafted for minimum sq.ft. of each dwelling, max height of (number of floors) of buildings, etc.

            The idea would be to create attractive alternatives to purchasing a house in the “burbs” that contributes to sprawl and waste. Single people, new families with either no children or 1-2 kids, retired folks, empty nesters, etc.. Move into a NICE 1000-1500 sq/ft 2-3 bedroom condo with all the amenities, etc. but none of the “waste” of a yard that some people could care less about.

            No Section 8… no “Cheap” apartment complexes..

            For the downtown density efforts to work, jobs will have to be relocated there as well, so people can walk to work. The city(ies) are not putting forth a proper amount of effort to correct the mistakes of 60 years of urban sprawl and poor city planning.

          • AVGirl
            August 21, 2013 at 12:17 pm

            The American dream is to have that house with a 2 car garage and the white picket fence. Trying to convince people otherwise will be difficult. People move out of the city to get away from the noise and faster pace and to have a little privacy.

            Look at what Lancaster is trying to do with the Boulevard. There are several lofts and condo complexes around there and the streets are still a ghost town.

            As for Section 8, the cities get grant money for providing for low income households. Much of that is used to build to project based properties like section 8 complexes. They are also required to provide a % of all available housing that is deemed affordable. Same with senior housing.

            I do agree that we need to look at alternatives though.

      • M'lissa
        August 21, 2013 at 11:11 am

        Funny isn’t it, that people plant grass, apply fertilizer, water profusely…….then just when the grass does what they wanted it to do..grow, they come along and cut it back. Repeat multiple times.

        So what is the real purpose of grass anyway, since nobody I know eats it?

        Why not plant something edible, it sure makes more sense.

  8. AiratedWater
    August 21, 2013 at 6:15 am

    Quartz Hill Water is pumping such a cavitated product that we end up paying in part for air. Fix your pumps you thieves.

  9. Jason Zink
    August 20, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Palms Ranch Irrigation District in Quartz Hill might be a better one to compare too.

  10. Jason Zink
    August 20, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    What should be done is a study and a vote of creating an Antelope Valley Comunity Service District and consolidating all these gerrymandered water districts created in the early 1900’s and consolidate and bring rates down for all customers/citizens and all sewer, flood, regional planning and take them out of the control of small groups and LA County. Its a “No Brainer” local control, transparency, cost savings. A 21st Century government for AV!

    • Jay
      August 20, 2013 at 11:48 pm

      I’m surprised we don’t have a council of governments out here.

  11. Jay
    August 20, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Meanwhile Steve Knight does nothing

    • William
      August 21, 2013 at 8:18 am

      Who’s he? Is he of the Newport Knight’s?

    • Duckster
      August 21, 2013 at 9:31 am

      You people keep voting in the same losers over and over again and then wonder why we have out of control utilities, taxes and fees. When was the last time you saw a Republican go after any corporation?? When was the last time you a Republican stick up for the working class?

  12. Kirsten Larson
    August 20, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Assemblyman Fox, Cal Water’s customers in the Antelope Valley really appreciate all you are doing for us. We already pay three times more than other AV residents for water. And now Cal Water has asked for still more. Today, retirees and single parents pay $200-$300 or more per month for water. This represents 2.4% of the median household income for our water. This, as you indicate, is outrageous. Water is something all people need to survive, not a luxury item, as you note. Again, sincere thanks from the AV Residents for Reasonable Water Rates.

  13. dumbandblind
    August 20, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Wow finally! Someone took notice of the exorbitant rates PWD charges it’s customers. Also what needs to be audited and posted for public viewing are the salaries received by the management and board of PWD- bonuses and perks included. Great job Atty Fox! Thanks.

  14. cheri
    August 20, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    It’s about damn time………….

  15. Hmmmmm......
    August 20, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    This should get interesting…..

Comments are closed.