Apples and oranges (April 16, 2017)
One of the great things about Steve Hunt’s editorial “The water world we live in” (Daily Press, March 12, 2017) is that he revealed his water bills from Hesperia and Apple Valley. These allowed us to see that once you account for the hidden charges on a water bill from Hesperia or Victorville, the total amount is comparable to what you pay in Apple Valley, where Liberty Utilities shows all the charges right on your bill; nothing is hidden.
So when Tony Tyler writes he’s paying $65 per month more in Apple Valley for half the water compared to friends in Hesperia, right away you know there are key pieces of information missing (“Water Rates,” Daily Press, April 16, 2017).
There is no way that both Mr. Tyler and Mr. Hunt can be correct. Mr. Hunt used the same amount in each case, and his bill was only about $17 higher in Apple Valley once you take into account just one hidden fee (which Mr. Tyler thoughtfully mentions in his letter): The amortized cost of the water connection in Hesperia, which shows up on your mortgage, and not on your water bill. How in the world does Mr. Tyler calculate he paid $130 more for half the water? Without all the facts, we’ll never know.
The Mr. Tyler also takes issue with the billing tiers in Apple Valley. Those tiers are there to encourage residents to use less water, which is what each of us must do, and are set by the CPUC. By the way, if you are paying tiered rates for water, that means you are using more than 16 units of water per billing cycle … and that’s a lot of water.
There is no magic government solution to running a water system, and government is always less efficient than private enterprise. Even though the full costs of water delivery do not appear on your municipal water system bill, rest assured that someone somewhere is paying them, and most likely that “someone” is you.
— Greg Raven is Co-Chair of Apple Valley Citizens for Government Accountability, and is concerned about quality of life issues.
Published: Daily Press, April 23, 2017
Files related to water rates
- 2010 Water rate comparison table
- 20110629 Final Report: County of San Bernardino Grand Jury
- 2014 Estimated total monthly water cost
- 20140814 State auditor to survey water prices in the area
- 20140814 State Auditor to audit water rates in Apple Valley and surrounding areas
- 20140815 AVRWC to participate in state audit of regional cost of water service
- 20150428 TOAV Town Hall presentation (for May 2014)
- 20150430 California State Auditor’s Report: Apple Valley area water rates
- 20150727 State Audit Confirms Reasonableness of Apple Valley Area Water Utilities’ Costs and Rates
- 20150430 Audit questions millions spent by Victorville’s water district
- 20150430 Audit: Private water more costly
- 20150430 AVRWC: State Audit Affirms Distinctions and Differences of Government-Owned and Private, Regulated Water Utilities
- Comparative water use (video)
- 20160913 Eric Larsen (Liberty Utilities) corrects the Town Council and staff (video)
- 20160926 Understanding your water bill
- Indirect comparisons are flawed
- 20170312 Editor’s Notebook: The water world we live in
- Missing water bill information
- Filling in the facts
- Apples and oranges
- Hidden costs, revisited
- 20181221 Hesperia reinstates water connection fee for future homes