The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board officers today thanked the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for making a public offer to settle litigation over MWD’s rates, and directed staff to take the following actions:
- Schedule special Board meetings in December and January to expedite the process in hopes of reaching a conclusion in early 2020; and
- Draft a durable, public and mutually beneficial settlement offer for review by the Water Authority Board; and
- Invite MWD General Manager Jeff Kightlinger to discuss settlement with the Water Authority Board and schedule a reciprocal visit by Water Authority General Manager Sandy Kerl to MWD’s Board.
“Given MWD’s current willingness to discuss settlement in a fully transparent and public process, the Water Authority is more optimistic than ever that an enduring settlement can be reached,” Water Authority Board Chair Jim Madaffer said after today’s Board meeting.
“We must carefully consider all aspects of an agreement that will affect our economy, children and grandchildren,” Madaffer said. “That’s why we welcome the opportunity to engage fully with MWD in a public process. Discussions directly with the general managers will increase the likelihood of finding common ground early in the new year.”
MWD’s settlement proposal on Nov. 15 marked the start of public negotiations following more than a year of confidential discussions that didn’t yield an agreement. It followed on letters from the Water Authority to MWD on Nov. 8 and Nov. 12 stating the Water Authority’s belief that the agencies were nearing a point where they could soon resolve most or all of the litigation.
“We appreciate MWD’s desire to resolve our differences, and we are fully engaged with the same goal,” said Water Authority Board Secretary Christy Guerin, who is leading the agency’s settlement efforts on behalf of the Board of Directors.