We support a Municipal Water Utility Company to replace San Jose Water Company
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: San Jose Water Company (SJWC) is currently an investor-owned monopoly, with 231,000 connections that serve a population of approximately one million people, and regularly increases water rates. SJWC's income has gone up 200% in 6 years . The current process of rate filings with CPUC has been very effective for SJWC to increase rates and increase profits. Their profits spiked 130% from 2013 to 2014. In a severe drought year 2016, their profits grew 40% year to year. SJWC has made $342M in profits since 2010.
The rate payers are tired and done with San Jose Water Comapny.
Water is going to be our biggest challenge over the next few decades - based on what we just saw during the recent California drought. It is time we took control of it...now! We do NOT want to be at the mercy of an investor-owned utility company for our water.
** 5 STEPS TO OUR EXECUTION STRATEGY
#1 Forging a broad coalition of cities. See A1 below
#2 Follow the execution strategy of other success stories See A2 below
#3 Let us Condemn San Jose Water Company by exercising eminent domain. See an existing California use case success - A3 below
#4 Today, the cities of Palo Alto and Santa Clara have their own municipal water company. How about a new municipal utility company servicing neighborhoods that are currently serviced by SJWC, that will NOT be motivated by profit, but interested in serving the interest of it's residents? See A4 below
#5 A sound financial model and approach. See A5 below
Excited about this idea? Join this activist group https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/wateroversight
#A1 We are building a broad coalition engaging councilmembers from cities to converge behind this push back against rampant rate increases and more. Meetings are being held and we are converging on ideas and processes.
#A2 Worldwide, 235 cities in 37 countries— including Paris, Budapest and Buenos Aires — have taken stronger or total control of their water systems in the last five years. In the U.S., 58 cities have taken or retaken control of private systems in the period, with the pace accelerating. Read this LA Times article http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-public-private-properties-20151015-story.html
#A3 California municipalities have been particularly active in reclaiming water systems. San Francisco purchased Spring Valley Water Company (SVWC) leading to the formation of San Francisco Public Utility Commission (SFPUC). SFPUC is a public agency of the City and County of San Francisco that provides water, wastewater, and electric power services to the city and an additional 1.9 million customers within three San Francisco Bay Area counties . The BusinessWire article below describes how eminent domain action led to California based Casitas Municipal Water District (“Casitas”) taking over operating assets of Golden State Water Company’s Ojai water system by eminent domain for approximately $34.5 million. Yes it can be done! http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170413006178/en/American-States-Water-Company-Announces-Agreement-Resolve
#A4 Santa Clara and Palo Alto already have city owned and operated municipal utility company which is working very well for their residents i.e reasonable water rates, and NEVER surcharges. Twelve communities in Santa Clara County formed Silicon Valley Clean Energy, creating a community-owned agency https://www.svcleanenergy.org/about-us that has created an alternative to PG&E. Why not a Silicon Valley Municipal Water - community owned water ? All options should be considered - perhaps expand the existing San Jose Municipal Utility or Cupertino Municipal Utility.
#A5 With 229,000* metered connections, we anticipate a price tag of $700M - on the high side. An investment of $3,000 to $5,000 / family would be needed - financed upfront and spread the cost recovery from families via their monthly bill over 10 years. Given that SJWC profited $342M in 10 years, would mean rates lowered to ensure a break-even operation (remember - the new municipal utility is NOT driven by profits)
Lot more details at RishiKumar.com/water
See press coverage "Call for money back from SJWC"
We want a municipal utility company. See the position of this Water Oversight group by watching this video https://youtu.be/g0OPuznJLig at the CPUC Public hearing on Nov 6th 2017 in San Jose
San Jose Water Company could have done a better job of warning it's customers of these super high water bills. But customers only found out about their four figure water bills after the fact.
Water is a public asset and should be controlled by the community. In spite of residents conserving, cutting back their water use 30% to 50% in 2015 and 2016 over 2013, the water bills have gone sky high. High bills don't reflect high water use. Nothing is more necessary to life than water.
*SJWC provides water services to ~229,000 water meter connections (~1 million residents) that serve 80% of citizens of San Jose, some of Cupertino and all of Saratoga, Campbell, Monte Sereno, Los Gatos, and unincorporated Santa Clara county
**NOTE: Titles are used for identification purpose only.
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