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FPUD and Eastern recognize community leaders

FALLBROOK – At a special board meeting April 30, the Fallbrook Public Utility District and Eastern Municipal Water District celebrated switching water wholesalers in a move that allows Eastern to provide water service to FPUD.

FPUD also recognized many community leaders who worked hard spreading the message of the benefits of detaching. They made phone calls, posted Measure A signs around town, ran ads, and created a campaign to inform people that made the switch go from a possibility into a reality.

A ceremonial valve-turning event highlighted the final step of a process where Eastern provides wholesale water service to FPUD, which completed a detachment from the San Diego County Water Authority on Jan. 1.

FPUD opted to detach from the Water Authority and purchase water from Eastern due to the Water Authority's rising costs. In doing so, FPUD will save millions of dollars annually for agricultural, residential and commercial customers.

FPUD also implemented a rate decrease effective Jan. 1 that lowered the average water bill by 5%. Decreases in anything are rare in this time of rising costs in food, electricity, cars and just about everything else.

"This is a positive move for our customers and FPUD," said Jack Bebee, general manager of FPUD. "It is saving us money, which translates to lower and more stable rates for our ratepayers. It is a win-win."

Later this year, Rainbow Municipal Water District is set to begin receiving water from Eastern.

Eastern purchases imported water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. FPUD and Rainbow also previously received the same water from Metropolitan as members of the Water Authority. However, being members of the Water Authority came with an added cost as the agencies had to pay for infrastructure down south and throughout the county that they didn't use, which resulted in higher rates.

FPUD and Rainbow each approached Eastern about being their wholesale supplier from Metropolitan. Eastern did not take a formal position on the detachment process, but did let FPUD and Rainbow know that it would provide wholesale service once the reorganization was approved.

That process was completed in late 2023. Fallbrook and Rainbow voters overwhelmingly voted to switch water suppliers in the November election; 94% of voters in Fallbrook and 95% of voters in Rainbow voted to detach from the Water Authority and instead buy less expensive water from Eastern.

"Eastern is honored to provide wholesale water service to Fallbrook Public Utility District and to help its customers receive water at an exceptional value," Eastern Board President Phil Paule said. "We look forward to a successful partnership and will provide Fallbrook with the same exceptional level of service that we do for all of our customers."

Submitted by Fallbrook Public Utility District.


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