How much water? (July 21, 2015)

Sandra Dorman complains (Daily Press, Letters, July 20, 2015) that her water bill from Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company (AVRWC) doubled (25 years ago!), but leaves out an important fact: How much water was she using? In my experience, people who are paying a lot for water are using a lot of water. By my calculations, AVRWC charges 1.3 cents per gallon for a high-quality commodity that humans cannot live without. Here in the desert, that seems like a bargain.

Dorman should also know that AVRWC doesn’t guarantee investors 9 to 10 percent profit on their investment. She should also know that industry-wide, water utilities average 12 percent net profit margin, putting AVRWC well below the industry standard. That, too, seems like a bargain. If that seems like too high a return on investment, consider the millions and millions of dollars that need to be spent not only in installing the infrastructure for a water utility, but also everything required to maintain one so it doesn’t end up like the publicly-owned DWP in Los Angeles (which is no bargain, by the way).

Finally, the private sector is always more efficient at resource allocation that the public sector. If Dorman thinks her water rates are too high now, she’s not going to be pleased if the Town of Apple Valley gets ahold of the system.

Greg Raven is Co-Chair of Apple Valley Citizens for Government Accountability, and is concerned about quality of life issues.