Open letter opposing EBMUD rate increases

 

We are writing EBMUD to oppose the proposed monthly water and wastewater service charges for 2017 and 2018.

For the past 25 years, we have been owners of a single-family home on Harbor Bay Isle in Alameda. Our house has a 5/8-inch water meter. As a retired couple on fixed income, we have achieved progressively greater savings in water usage of the past four years vs. 2013. In 2014, water usage saw a 93 percent reduction; 2015, 104 percent and 2016, 151 percent. We achieved this by spending money to remove grass in the front yard and plant drought-tolerant shrubs; in the back we had artificial turf installed.

Additionally, we upgraded to new efficient washer and dryer. We also greatly increased water conservation inside.

During approximately that same time period you proposed rate increases as follows:
• For July 2016 through July 2017 a combined 15 percent or more for water and 10 percent or more for wastewater.
• For July 2017 through July 2018 you propose 18.25 percent more for water and 10 percent or more for waste water.

So, while we have dropped from 28 units to 14 units in 2016 over 2013 — a 100 percent savings — you are looking for combined increases to rates of 33 percent or more for water and 20 percent or more for wastewater over roughly the same four fiscal year periods — July 2015 through July 2017 .

Yet your notice of public hearing does not begin to detail any savings and cost reductions you have achieved or plan to achieve.  One could surmise that budgeting and spending by EBMUD can only be characterized as unaccountable.

We can only conclude that your loss in revenue due to our conservation has caught you blind-sighted. While you figure out how to manage during conservation measures, we should not foot the bill for lack of planning.

Therefore, we strongly insist that you withdraw your proposed increases until you can show appropriate offsetting savings and a long-term plan for more effectively managing costs with conservation.

 

Jim Askin

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