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Communities of Fallbrook, Rainbow to vote on switching water districts

Posted at 8:32 PM, Jul 10, 2023

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) — Two north county communities, Fallbrook and Rainbow, are looking to potentially switch water districts. And after a LAFCO Commission vote on Monday, they’re one step closer.

In Fallbrook and Rainbow, two largely agricultural communities, there has been ongoing discussion for years about switching from San Diego Water Authority to Eastern Municipal Water District.

Jeff Dickinson, of Dickinson Family Farms in Fallbrook, shared with 10News they spend about $70,000 a year on water to operate their avocado and citrus farms. Because of this, they’re in favor of the switch.

“What we’re being told is if the Fallbrook and Rainbow annex to the Eastern Municipal Water District…that it will stop the rate increases,” he said.

On Monday, county leaders held a lengthy meeting and decided Fallbrook and Rainbow water customers will be able to vote for themselves and have the final say on if they’ll be switching districts.

If this passes, Fallbrook and Rainbow would face an “exit fee” of about $24 million to be paid over a five-year period.

San Diego Water Authority came out after Monday’s meeting calling the decision “very disappointing,” and argued that it could increase rates for other San Diego communities if Fallbrook and Rainbow ultimately make that switch.

The Fallbrook Public Utilities Department says that a special election for Fallbrook and Rainbow customers will likely take place sometime next year.