Generally, the more water you use, the bigger your monthly water bill.

But that hasn’t always been the case. Back in the old days, people didn’t have water meters.

It isn’t easy to encourage people to use less water if they can use as much as they want without paying extra, though, so now most properties have meters, and heavy water users pay the price.

Yet the battle over who pays what for water continues, especially when rate increases are announced.

In this week’s San Diego Explained, NBC7’s Monica Dean and Voice of San Diego’s Ry Rivard highlight the history and politics behind your rising water bill.

We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?

    This article relates to: Government, San Diego Explained, Water

    Written by Kinsee Morlan

    Kinsee Morlan is the Engagement Editor at Voice of San Diego and author of the Culture Report. She works to expand our reach and helps community members write op-eds. She also manages VOSD’s podcasts and covers the arts, culture, land use and entrepreneurs. Contact her directly at Follow her on Facebook or Twitter. Subscribe to her podcast.

    john stump
    john stump subscriber

    Normally you pay more for a higher quality product.  Not in San Diego were your water/sewer bill is being combined into a single recycled water sewage product that you will pay more to drink your own wastes.  

    The scheme here is to keep the endless development cycle going until San Diego is the American Singapore.  The PURE water scheme means PURE PROFITS not better quality water.

    Bill Bradshaw
    Bill Bradshaw subscribermember

    Look, this piece misses the essential point:  The people billing you have, as their highest priority, preservation of their agency and, of course, their own jobs plus, if possible, a little growth to provide opportunities for advancement.  As water usage goes down, they have got to maintain their income or bad things happen, so “adjustments” are made to preserve the cash flow.

    You see the same thing at he state level with fuel taxes and vehicle fees.Gov Moonbeam is promoting higher gas taxes, higher registration fees and a new major fee on, of all things, electric vehicles.What’s happening, of course, is that mileage goes up as auto efficiency increases and more hybrids and electric cars enter the mix, so fuel tax receipts go down.You have to have new revenue sources or, heavens, you’d have to shrink your agency.So, you declare an infrastructure emergency and claim you will spend the money (mostly) on potholes, bridges, improved roads, etc., etc.Wanna bet none of the new money finds it’s way to the bullet train?  

    Janet Shelton
    Janet Shelton subscriber

    "Generally, the more water you use, the bigger your monthly water bill"

    My usage is the same but my bill has doubled in the last few years.

    I am a frugal user and more than half my bill is fixed.  Unless I have a leak, my usage doesn't have much effect on my total bill. Set fees should be lower and water usage fees higher for two reasons.  High set fees are regressive, effecting low income people the most.  Putting too much of the cost in those reduces the incentive to lower water use.


    David Crossley
    David Crossley subscriber

    They should do some research and see how many non-metered customers there are in the Central Valley--including the Sacramento area.