San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders announced Wednesday that the city will not raise water rates even though the city’s wholesale water costs will increase 9.6 percent at the beginning of 2013.
This is the second consecutive time the city declined to pass along the price increase to customers, after absorbing costs from a 7 percent hike in January through efficiencies adopted by the Public Utilities Department. This time again the department is finding ways to cut costs, and will use the savings from infrastructure projects completed under budget to offset the rising expense.
“The price of water is obviously a huge issue for everyone in San Diego, including families on super-tight budgets and businesses trying to contain costs in this challenging economy,” Sanders said.
He reiterated his support for the city’s water wholesaler, the San Diego County Water Authority, which is suing its own wholesaler, the Metropolitan Water District in Los Angeles, for artificially inflating water prices that it charges the entire San Diego region.
While there is no price hike now, Sanders warned that they cannot keep going unanswered.
“I want to caution San Diegans that our Public Utilities Department cannot continue indefinitely to absorb the rising costs of water without raising water rates,” Sanders said.