Tuesday, July 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Water system users in peril

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From page A10 | February 16, 2014 |

A very frightening scenario is facing 800 families who live in rural areas of Solano County that receive household water from the Lakes Water System.

The city of Vallejo, which owns and operates the system and benefitted from its water supply and revenue for decades, is preparing to sell the system to an investor-owned utility. The ramifications of such a sale are no mystery – the Lakes Water System users, who already pay some of the highest water rates in the state – will see their water bills skyrocket. For some, water bills will exceed mortgage payments, and create tremendous financial strain on their families.

Investor-0wned utilities, unlike municipal utilities, are private, for-profit enterprises that weigh the interests of shareholders over the interests of their water customers. In small California communities that have already been taken over by investor-owned utilities, water has become such a precious and costly resource, residents have been forced to make drastic lifestyle changes – showering once a week, abandoning landscaping and wearing only dark clothing, so they can wash it less. It is hard to imagine, but this could become a fact of life for Lakes Water System customers here in Solano County.

Water is not a luxury; it is a basic necessity of life. Everyone has the right to receive reasonably affordable water. I applaud the Green Valley Landowners’ Association for taking legal action against the city of Vallejo on behalf of all Lakes Water System households, to protect this right.

Nancy Nelson

Fairfield

Letter to the Editor

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  • William GardnerFebruary 27, 2014 - 2:29 pm

    As a long time property owner in the lakes water system area, I am very concerned about what the City of Vallejo is planning on doing in regard to our implied agreement with the City that goes back several decades. If they think they can sell their responsibility and obligation to the homeowners to another entity, they have another thing coming (i.e., a huge costly lawsuit). I can't imagine what investor-owned utility district would want to own a water district that has been as neglected and grossly under maintained as this one. Moreover, what entity would want to get involved and/or be included into this lawsuit. From my perspective, our group is willing to pursue this as long as it takes to bring the City of Vallejo to an understanding of their obligation to the homeowners. On the other hand, If the City plans to slip this buy the homeowners by quietly selling the water district, we should all consider trucking our water in and refusing to pay anything to anyone...How attractive would this now be to an investor-owned utility?Perhaps, even digging a massive community well for our own neighbors in the Gordon Valley area and thereby eliminating the water district entirely...

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