We did it!
Last updated 11/15/2023 at 4:02pm
Charley Wolk and Hayden Hamilton
FPUD and RMWD
The people of Fallbrook and Rainbow could not have been any more clear – you want change and you want it now.
In what could be the most decisive election results in San Diego County history, 94% of voters in Fallbrook and 95% of voters in Rainbow have chosen to break away from San Diego County Water Authority and instead buy water from the Eastern Municipal Water District.
The switch will save ratepayers in both communities an estimated $7.6 million a year, according to an independent analysis by the San Diego Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO).
This is a huge victory for our ratepayers, including our farming community, which has been forced to weather the soaring cost of water for years.
On behalf of the Fallbrook Public Utility District and the Rainbow Municipal Water District, congratulations!
Thank you to everyone who supported these measures, including the hundreds of residents, business owners and farmers who showed up at our town hall meetings over the past couple of years to learn about this so-called “detachment.” And, most importantly, there were many community and business leaders who stepped forward to lead this charge. To all of you, thank you!
So, now what?
We had hoped to begin implementing the switch to Eastern immediately, but unfortunately the Water Authority has filed a lawsuit against LAFCO, which approved our detachments in July. The suit claims that LAFCO did not follow certain procedures in approving our detachment applications, and that the $24 million exit fee our two districts have agreed to pay the Water Authority is insufficient.
Over the past several weeks, we have been trying to reach a settlement with the Water Authority and avoid unnecessary litigation and legal expenses, but if the Water Authority board refuses to settle, we will use every resource to ensure the court rules against the Water Authority and allows our voter-approved detachments to go forward.
Your voice was clear that you want us to do everything necessary to switch wholesale providers and reduce the cost of water as soon as possible. When that happens, we will let you know how the switch to a new water supplier will impact you and your water bill, among other details. Along the way, we will keep you up to date and advise you where your voice might be helpful to ensure the process is complete.
Again, congratulations! Thank you for supporting our effort to control the cost of water in Fallbrook and Rainbow.
Wolk is President of the Fallbrook Public Utility District Board of Directors. Hamilton is President of the Rainbow Municipal Water District Board of Directors.