The San Diego County Water Authority is upgrading the All-American Canal in the Imperial Valley to increase water supplies from sources other than the Metropolitan Water District. Photo courtesy water authority
The San Diego County Water Authority is upgrading the All-American Canal in the Imperial Valley to increase water supplies from sources other than the Metropolitan Water District. Photo courtesy water authority

The San Diego County Water Authority will have $8.9 million in legal fees paid following its successful lawsuit against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California over water rates.

The Los Angeles-based MWD now owes the San Diego authority more than $243 million, including damages, costs, interest and attorneys’ fees.

“We are pleased that almost all of the attorneys’ fees and court costs incurred by the water authority to defend our water ratepayers will be recovered,” said Mark Weston, chair of the authority’s board of directors.

“But at the same time,” Weston said, “it is greatly alarming to us that MWD continues to ignore the court’s rulings and overcharge San Diego County ratepayers by setting rates using the same flawed rate allocation that the judge found to be illegal.”

Despite the court’s ruling in two cases spanning four years of MWD’s rates — 2011-2014 — MWD is poised to adopt two more years of illegal rates — for 2017 and 2018 — as an appeal proceeds.

At issue are rates charged by the MWD to transport water from sources not under its control to San Diego.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.