The San Diego County Water Authority announced Friday it sued the Southern California wholesaler, the Metropolitan Water District, over recent rate increases.
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The court action was necessary because a lawsuit filed two years ago -- regarding rates this year and last year -- has not been resolved, according to the SDCWA.
The new suit is for rates approved by the MWD board for 2013 and 2014, which the county water agency believes overcharges San Diego customers.
The MWD delivers water to the San Diego County Water Authority, which sells it to local agencies, ranging from the city of San Diego to the Helix Water District, which, in turn, distributes it to homes and businesses.
"MWD's water rates are nothing more than a naked redistribution of ratepayer dollars from San Diego County to agencies located in other Southern California counties," SDCWA board Chairman Michael Hogan said.
"This action is necessary to protect our region's $186 billion economy and our 3.1 million ratepayers from billions of dollars in overcharges through the payment of water rates that will not deliver one drop of water or other benefit for San Diego County water ratepayers," Hogan said.
Bob Muir, an MWD spokesman, said the lawsuit was "not unanticipated" since the SDCWA filed a claim in April and informed the MWD Board of Directors it would file suit if the rates were adopted.
The lawsuit alleges that the MWD misstates its supply costs for water received from the State Water Project, doesn't follow state law in establishing the rates and breaches a 2003 contract with the SDCWA in which it promised to charge water transportation services in accordance with California statutes.
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