San Dieguito Water District representative Mark Muir was Thursday elected chairman of the San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors.
Muir, an Encinitas councilman, succeeds Mark Weston, who chaired the 36-seat SDCWA board for two years during the height of the drought.
“While supply conditions have improved this year, our region still faces many important water-related issues and challenges,” Muir said.
“Looking ahead, we will be focused on ensuring the long-term water supply reliability of the region through supporting local supply development, advocating for balanced state water-use regulations that account for local supply and demand conditions, and promoting water-use efficiency at homes and businesses through our Live WaterSmart campaign,” he said.
Muir, who joined the board three years ago, said the Water Authority will continue its efforts to ensure the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California — the main wholesaler of water in this part of the state — charges legal rates.
The Water Authority has filed four lawsuits against the MWD, alleging the charging of illegal rates. A state Superior Court judge last year ordered MWD to pay more than $235 million in damages, costs and pre-judgment interest for illegal overcharges in 2011-2014, plus attorneys’ fees of $8.9 million.
The judge also ordered MWD to set legal rates in future years.
“Preventing a continuation of these illegal overcharges could ultimately save this region billions of dollars,” Muir said.
Former San Diego City Councilman Jim Madaffer was elevated to vice chairman.
–City News Service