The governor has mandated that water supply agencies save 25 percent over the 2013 level and report to the state, verifying this achievement. It is predicted that more agencies will copy Oceano in SLO County and propose water rate increases, claiming lack of operating funds. This is erroneous, because overhead must be reduced, similar to private industry, upon decreased demand.
Another claim is that the system must be refurbished. Again, increasing rates is often erroneous, because excessive salaries, benefits and pensions leave nothing left in the budget for basic needs. However, to protect current users, it is logical to increase fees and rates for future developers and users when systemic development and/or the drought necessitates increasing system capability. Least-cost solutions can be obtained using such tools as life-cycle costing, obtaining grants and consolidation of adjacent water suppliers.
Historically, fee and tax-supported agencies, that lack motivation, must be forced to lower rates by the voter. Pathetically, one method is by application of Proposition 218.