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During the eight years I sat on the City Council, I served as the City and Council’s representative on the Association of Water Agencies of Ventura County, and for many years, as that Agency’s Vice President.
Over those years, I recall how smug I often felt in the knowledge that Lake Casitas, and our ground water wells, allowed our City to avoid many of the challenges other communities faced accessing and distributing water to their residents. That independence also allowed residents to benefit from lower water and sewer rates than faced by other communities.
As we now all know, those days are behind us. Due to a variety of factors, Lake Casitas and our ground water wells can no longer be looked at as a long-term solution to our water needs. More frequent and prolonged droughts have put Ventura’s 100% local water sources at risk. Innovative solutions such as VenturaWaterPure, the proposed water recycling project, and the State Water Interconnection Project, are needed to secure future water supply.
At the same time, much of Ventura’s water and wastewater infrastructure is over 60 years old. Deteriorating pipelines, pump stations, and facilities need replacement. Deferring the costs of the needed improvements and upgrades comes at a high price.
While I acknowledge the impact these rate increases will have on our businesses and residents, even with the proposed rates, the City of Ventura compares favorably with the rate structures of other cities. Simply stated there is no alternative. Water is life – not only for us as human beings, but for our economy.
For me, it’s a simple decision: Ventura’s residents should support, and our Council should approve, a fair level of water rates that can finance the projects needed to ensure our water supply and infrastructure allow our community to evolve without impediment, and as we choose.
70 Year Resident of the City of Ventura