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EBMUD considering water rate hikes

Original post made on May 11, 2017

East Bay water users could see rate hikes totaling nearly 20 percent over the next couple of years if the East Bay Municipal Utility District board approves them next month.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 10, 2017, 10:23 PM

Comments (17)

Posted by Long term resident
a resident of Danville
on May 11, 2017 at 7:11 am

This is absolutely crazy. We have all worked hard to conserve water and now our reward is higher rates!! They claim there is a revenue shortfall because of all our saving. However, they fail to mention all the new customers they have added with all the new housing developments already built and planned for the next few years. Every gallon you and I saved they are selling to a new house owner and now they have the nerve to want to raise all of our rates.

The current situation at Orville dam and the lack on any new water storage facilities in the state helps demonstrate that funds would be better spent in building new storage infrastructure rather than increasing funding to EBMUD. If EBMUD was a private enterprise, they would reduce staff and find other ways to reduce costs if the product they are selling and supplying is no longer being purchased at the same level.

I intend to write a letter of opposition and I hope others will too. A 20% increase over two years far exceeds inflation. They may claim their pumping costs have increased, but why?? Crude oil and natural gas prices have remained low.

Posted by MacZapper
a resident of Danville
on May 11, 2017 at 7:44 am

This EBMUD rate increase request is absurd. Keep the hiring freeze in place. In any business environment, if revenues decline, expenses must also decline, or the business will fail. With the decline in water usage, there must be areas of this company which can be downsized.

Posted by Paul
a resident of Danville
on May 11, 2017 at 9:12 am

Here's your reward for sacrificing allowing your landscape to wither, 2 minute showers every other day,driving dirty cars and hand watering plants using recycled water. BOHICA, Bend over here it comes again.

Posted by Fact Checker
a resident of Danville
on May 11, 2017 at 9:38 am

Do not forget that EBMUD is a Mafia organization. Governor Brown has given them full authority over all types of water in their territory. They own the the well water, the rain water, and the rivers that run across their territory. They have full monopoly over every aspect of water including the wastewater. They own us. They do not care how many opposition letters you write to them. The only way to get the water rights out of the hand of Mafia is to elect political leaders who are not corrupt. As long as we have the current political leaders in California, good luck to you. By the way, it is the same story about Golden Gate bridge. Did you know that a Mafia organization owns Golden Gate bridge? Just research it.

Posted by Paying Customer
a resident of Danville
on May 11, 2017 at 9:59 am

Agree with earlier comments. Because of our water conservation whether voluntary or under threats of penalty, this is how we get rewarded. This is a typical untility agency at work. They know they are the only game in town so screw the people who pay their salaries.

Posted by Sue
a resident of Danville
on May 11, 2017 at 10:37 am

No surprise - I figured this would happen. While I think EBMUD is one of the better quality/water companies, this rate increase is absurd. Time to move. By the time we pay for utilities, rising property taxes & additional school bonds, the increase in health care & gas taxes ... there's nothing left! Is the weather worth it? No 20% income increase in the cards for me over the next few years. Tipping point, for many. Gov. Brown better realize - quickly - that not everyone works in Silicon Valley.

Posted by JW
a resident of Alamo
on May 11, 2017 at 2:30 pm

Folks, the EBMUD Board of Directors are elected positions! If you're not happy with their policies, stop complaining and VOTE THEM OUT!!! Of course the problem is nobody actually researches anything before they cast their votes. Honestly, how many people just put a check in the incumbents' boxes? I submit almost everybody.

Here is the link to the EBMUD Board of Directors home page:

Web Link

Again, if you're unhappy with their policies, stop complaining and VOTE THEM OUT!!

Posted by Aquarius
a resident of Alamo
on May 11, 2017 at 2:54 pm

These comments betray an ignorance of the economics involved here. EBMUD's costs are almost all of the fixed cost variety - meaning that it's all infrastructure and very little pumpers or fuel and other costs related to throughput.

Let's say you had a business that took in $1M at current rates, and it cost you $900K, $850K of which was fixed cost. Nice profit, eh? Everything's good.

But then let's say your business volume declined by 20%, so you'd only take-in $800K. Your costs would still be $890K, since they only fell by the $10K (20%) reduction in variable costs. You can't avoid the fixed costs, so you're losing $90K.

What do you do - sell out? Shut down? Raise prices? EBMUD only has the third option. Duh.

BTW, because the customers are using 20% less on average, they'll be paying less anyway, because their bills are substantially based on usage. It'll just be more per unit. Lucky customer.

Upshot - don't pop an artery over this one, and get that jerky knee under control.

Posted by Semper
a resident of Danville
on May 11, 2017 at 4:46 pm

What about the drought surcharge they imposed last year? Are the going to rescind that since the drought is officially over? This makes the 20% increase even greater.

Posted by Kari
a resident of Danville
on May 11, 2017 at 9:54 pm

This is crazy. We already pay a drought surcharge. Did they get rid of that now that we are out of the drought? I doubt it.

I just looked up EBMUD's pensions. I am guessing this increase is going to their pensions.

Now, if this money were to go to improvements of the system like taking our rain water from gutters. Cleaning it and reusing it, that would be great. But, instead it goes straight out to the ocean and wasted. Arizona has a great system. They live in a desert and they have plenty of water. We need to pattern our system after theirs. Then, when we have a drought, we are fine. I would pay for this. But, I don't want to pay for their huge pensions.

Posted by Aquarius
a resident of Alamo
on May 12, 2017 at 2:23 pm

It sweems unfortunate that, especially in a community as affluent as this one, folks go waaaay out of their way to be unhappy about a service that that delivers a great-tasting, high-quality product, the cost of which they will never, ever feel.

Example: "What - this increase may be justified?? Well ... But surcharge! But pensions!" Oh, the outrage of it all, if you look long-and-hard enough.

There's a theory out there that such folks are often mimicking the negativity they see on cable news, all day long. You might consider changing the channel, or choosing instead to read you some Norman Vincent Peale Web Link

Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on May 12, 2017 at 4:13 pm

SHale is a registered user.

I think if the water was that GREAT, I wouldn't have had to spend a few grand for a entire house water softener system for a brand new constructed house (Gale Ranch).

Water over here does not compare to Hetch Hetchy quality; what I left on the 'west' side of the bay.

Posted by Aquarius
a resident of Alamo
on May 12, 2017 at 4:45 pm

Et tu, S Hale?

Posted by Kari
a resident of Danville
on May 12, 2017 at 6:09 pm

Me thinks Aquarius must work for East Bay Mud.

Enjoy your pension:)

Posted by Aquarius
a resident of Alamo
on May 13, 2017 at 6:25 am

I do not, and never have worked for any governmental entity (except the Census Bureau, one summer in college), but your charge is another typical defensive deflection spawned by faux news and their ilk. It goes something like this:

1 - spew uninformed anti-government dogma, because government. Outrageous!
2 - when revealed to be wrong on those facts, find something else about government that you don't like - complain about that.
3 - when that tactic is suggested to be silly, accuse the other commenter of inherent bias.
4 - coming soon. Dismiss commenter as 'a liberal.' Rinse, repeat, learn nothing and return to echo chamber to be fed some new war on something else.

Posted by SHale
a resident of San Ramon
on May 13, 2017 at 7:15 am

SHale is a registered user.

Aquarius: U must not do your homework. Because if you did you would know the 'hardest' of the water, at least in Gale Ranch, is off the charts and forces one to get a water softener.
Please, please do your homework before running your keyboard here.

Posted by Joe
a resident of San Ramon
on May 15, 2017 at 8:14 am

Life is Good, a bit expensive but Good.

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