San Diego County water customers are about to see their water bills jump to pay for some of the most expensive water possible. At the same time, cheaper water is about to be set aside, unused, in a reservoir where some of it will evaporate.
After years of fights and hurdles, the Carlsbad Desalination Project is expected to open this fall. But because of a quirk, the region is unlikely to need that desalinated water this year. Yet, the San Diego County Water Authority signed a deal promising that its customers will pay for it. Average water bills will increase by $5 or more.
Despite the drought, the Water Authority expects to have 99 percent of the water it needs to meet customer demands, even if customers don’t take any extra steps to save water.
But customers are required to take big steps to save water. The state Water Resources Control Board, at the direction of the governor, is asking municipal water users to reduce average consumption by 25 percent.