As a customer of Golden State Water and a lifelong resident of Claremont, I am compelled to share my concern over a recent opinion piece by Peter Weinberger.
Mr. Weinberger suggested that Claremont residents could lower their water bills by merely using less water. On the surface, such a statement seems reasonable; however, what I have experienced is that Golden State tacks a surcharge on my bill if I don’t use enough water or, in other words, if I conserve. Something Mr. Weinberger failed to mention.
Conserving water has and will continue to be a priority for my family. We understand that water, especially in southern California, is a precious resource and needs to be used responsibly. However, Golden State chooses to use water conservation as a mechanism to generate revenue. After all, given that they are a publically-traded company, isn’t their obligation to make a profit?
Unlike the city of La Verne, Golden State chooses to penalize their customers when we don’t use enough water. That’s right. Conserve water in Claremont and you will be paying a penalty. If you look at your bill (for those of us that have drought-tolerant landscaping) you will see an extra line item charging you for your water conservation.
Because publically-traded water companies in California, like Golden State, are legally entitled to make a profit off their water customers, Golden State tacks on what is known as a “WRAM” or water rate adjustment mechanism to the bills of their customers who don’t used enough water, guaranteeing them a profit.
While I encourage my neighbors and friends in Claremont to conserve water, I must also caution them that, in Claremont, conservation comes at a price.
I appreciate the Claremont City Council’s efforts to potentially form a municipal water company here in Claremont. After all, why should Claremont residents be forced to pay a profit to any publically-traded company?
The water system in the city of La Verne is working just fine; customers are charged for what they use, and nothing more.
Dr. Anne K. Turner