Higher water fees set for Paso Robles

October 29, 2012

Nacimiento spillway

Paso Robles’ steadily rising water rates are set to spurt again.

Under a “user pay” formula, the new increases, scheduled to begin Jan. 1, will apply only to higher uses of water, according to a statement issued by the city’s water department. The enabling ordinance approved by the city council also allows similar, automatic hikes at the start of each year through 2016.

With the first increase, users will pay $3.20 for each unit of water (748 gallons).

Residential costs for water will rise from $17.50 to $22.50 for seven units of consumption; from $3.50 to $41.60 for 13 units; and for heavy users, 1,500 gallon per day, the cost will go from $150 to $192.

Non-residential uses also will rise: a business using 200 units or 4,987 gallon daily will be paying $640 monthly.

For more information call 237-3996.

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It is considered a good management practice to charge more per unit of water at the higher end of water consumption. This is because it is those residents who use the most in water who actually end up making ALL people pay for the high-water-consumption customers’ water use.

Facilities are built to handle a certain amount of capacity, and the more sewage requiring treatment by the facility, the faster the facility and its components wear out and need to be replaced or upgraded.

In addition, the high-use customers end up forcing the water purveyor to invest in higher-capacity equipment, and/or build a higher-capacity facility, sooner than they would have expected to (or long-term budgeted for).

This ‘gentle’ reminder of water rate increases is Paso Robles version of Chuck Colson (of Watergate fame) who said “When you have them by the b*alls, their minds will follow”.

Well, voters and citizens, this city has you by the b*lls, and there is very little you can do about it, except complain. And we all know how much this city pays attention to those who complain, somewhere between none and not al all.

Just for a reality check, do you realize what you will be paying for water and sewer by the summer of 2016? Over $90 per month more than today, each and every month.

For water (based on 30 units per month) : $75 now going to $132 by summer of 2016.

For sewer (based on 10 units per month); $45 now going to $78 by summer of 2016.

$120 per month now – going to $210 per month by summer of 2016. Each and every month.

And by their own admission, this city has stated that we will not have a new water treatment plant on line by summer of 2016, we will not have a new sewer facility on line by summer of 2016, we will not have used a single drop of Naciemento water by summer of 2016, we will still be paying about $9000

per month in fines because our sewer system is inadequate.

Forget, for a moment , about the total mess our city council made of the Ms. Solomon ‘resignation’ and her gift of $250K of our money, it the problems they have allowed to happen concerning our

water and sewer are not enough to vote them out – god help us all.

Vote out Strong and Gilman (and let Hamon and Steinbeck know that they are gone in 2014).

We will not be able to stop or change the huge increases yet to come in water and sewer, but we should hold those responsible for this mess accountable. Vote them out.

This article gives the impression that there are different rates per water unit depending on your usage, this is incorrect as the per unit charge in 2013 will be $ 3.20 per unit no matter how much water is used.

This article(?) which has 6 paragraphs(?) is a bit confusing.

The author is not identified.

The reference to the “Statement from the Water Department” is not included as a link.

How can the readers review the facts without having reference to your backup documents?

Please provide us links to this information so we can properly educate ourselves.

This article seems exceptionally brief and unsubstantiated. Sorry, but I have come to expect better.

There’s a phone number at the end of the article. Pick up your cell, dial the number, ask a few questions. How hard can that be?


I will call them tomorrow.

Still, am I supposed to be the researcher on this? I have come to expect more from CCN articles. This is an issue I am interested in and have followed on CCN. This article had no author, no backup references, the math did not seem to work and the statement that the increase will apply to “higher users of water” is not consistent with the flat rate the city approved last year.

Sorry, but this article does not make the cut. I looks like a cheap shot. Do better.

What a bunch of spoiled brats. Always complaining that their water rates are to high, and yet went right out and spent the better part of their life savings and paychecks on everything immaginable from shelter for them selves,their dogs to cell phones for the kiddies. Need I list the luxuries that we all all have aquired. Come on, water is the only sustaining element that makes our planet and this or any other area habitable. Period end of story. The next time that you look into the sky and say hey theres a planet, remember probabally no water. Yeah, but I want my water subsidized and I want it good enough to ingest (drink) or I’m going to bath the baby or grandma needs to take her pills. Enough already, we as a people are a laughing stock due to the whinning and complaining about the only commodity thats worth its weight in gold. Check it out, every single article about water rates being raised, the village idiots are ready to storm the castle. Now go get a nice long drink of water and cool down.

The spoiled brats are the vineyard owners who caused the water shortage in our aquifer, but will not have to pay for new water from Nacimiento Lake because they live in the county and can pump as much water as they want on their property (state law). Let’s find a way for the spoiled brats, as you call them, to start paying back to the residents of Paso. Maybe they could donate to our cash strapped schools since they attract illegals here to pick grapes and dump their families in Paso. And I’m not even getting into the wine drunks on our roads and highways.

“Spoiled brats”…….hmmmm.

Per the County’s record, agricultural water demand in the Paso Robles Groundwater basin has decreased from ~100,000 acre feet per year in the early 80’s to around 67,000 acre feet per year at present. Thanks to changes in agricultural cropping patterns…read, a change to vineyards and other low water demand crops.

In the same time period urban, rural residential, and small commercial water demand has increased from approximately 13,000 acre feet per year in the early 80’s to around 32,000 acre feet per year at present.

Truth is we all have about 100,000 acre feet of water available to us from the groundwater basin. Additional water comes with a price tag we will all be paying.

How has it decreased? From ’97 to ’08 it went up!!!


There is more on it on the Paso site that shows more of the same. WHERE did you get your information???

Fugro reports (No. 3014.005 and 3014.036) These reports go back to “The time before grapes” when SLO county agriculture was a very different mix of crops that generally used much more water on a per acre basis.


I cannot explain the omission of the older data from current documents. Maybe inclusion doesn’t suit current goals.

And the county is handing out permits for new wells as fast as they can.

This is Chinatown all over again. It is a big water–rights and land grab.

The sad part is, most of the fruit and wine is being exported to other countries.

Will voting in a write-in candidate change this or the rates of the future?

Probably not but at least if some new council members are elected, there’s a glimmer of hope that city czar Jim “phat bald guy” App and city attorney Iris “I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing” Yang will be replaced. They’re the not-so-brilliant masterminds behind this whole Lake Naci pipeline/waste water treatment plant/water rates lawsuit debacl and they both need to go.

Didn’t think so. Do you think maybe , you write-in desires might have a better chance without all the juvenile name-calling? How does the monikers placed on the above individuals advance a productive agenda?

ha ha, Paso_Guy. Your pal App called HIMSELF a “phat bald guy” so why don’t you walk over to his cubicle and discuss his poor word choices with him. ;)

Thanks for the response