Vote Yes on Measure P
If approved, Measure P will:
• Repeal the unfair and arbitrary new water rates and the Consumption-Based Fixed Cost (CBFR) rate structure adopted by the council.
• Ask the City to establish a fair water rate system.
Under the new rates, your water bill could triple.
The New Water Rate Structure is Unfair.
CBFR is unfair to residents of single-family homes who will pay much more per gallon of water than other users. CBFR transfers a higher proportion of overall system costs to residential users who must irrigate during the dry, hot summer months. CBFR therefore penalizes homeowners and single-family tenants who will pay almost 40% more for each gallon of water than other users. Shifting the cost of this expensive new water project onto single-family homeowners and tenants is unfair.
The CBFR fee included in the new water rate calculations relies on summer water use to determine year-round rates. CBFR bases each ratepayer’s monthly (January through December) water rate on the water used during the 6-month peak consumption period (May through October) of the previous year. Therefore, the cost per gallon of water would be largely determined by summer use. This system assumes higher costs for summer water delivery, yet there is no evidence that delivery of summer water is significantly more costly. The rationale for the surface water project was the need for cleaner water, not more water.
The new water rates do not take into account that large users may be leaving the new system. The City, school district and some neighborhoods and future developments are planning to opt out of this expensive system by drilling their own wells or using existing intermediate wells for irrigation. This will further increase costs for the remaining rate-payers who cannot opt out and will exacerbate the inequity of CBFR costs imposed on single-family homeowners and renters.
The New Rate Structure is Unaffordable.
In 2013, the City Council adopted substantially increased water rates to pay for the new water project. These new rates increase annually through 2018. By 2018, the water bill for a typical single-family residential customer would at least triple, with further increases to follow, giving Davis among the most expensive water in the state.
Many Davis households cannot afford a tripling of our water bills. Low income households and seniors on fixed incomes will be especially challenged by the large increases in our water bills.
Conservation Will Not Help Us out of this Expensive Rate System.
Despite what opponents of Measure P assert, we cannot conserve our way out of these huge water bills. Even if we all conserve, the rates still must increase to cover the high fixed cost of the new surface water project. This disparity will become even greater when groups opt out to avoid the high costs, impacting remaining ratepayers.
Many in our community have already planted water-efficient landscaping, and many more will be doing so to try to keep water bills down. But the greater the conservation, the higher the rates must go to cover the high fixed costs, so people may opt to stop watering trees and other landscaping altogether, seriously threatening our urban tree canopy and other greenery.
By exercising your right to vote and voting Yes on Measure P, we can repeal the confusing, unfair, and onerous CBFR rates. It is critical that the City’s water rate structure be fair.
Vote Yes on Measure P
For more information or to volunteer, visit our website at www.YesOnMeasureP.org. To donate, make checks out to CCRAW. Send to Citizens for Clean Reliable Affordable Water, P.O. Box 1763, Davis, CA 95617-1763. Call 530-756-6856 for a lawn sign.
Paid for by Citizens for Clean Reliable Affordable Water, Yes on Measure P. ID# 1354147. Paul Brady, Treasurer.