We continue to believe unifying our customer groups – thoughtfully and gradually – remains the best long-term solution for all customers. Our customers have very diverse thoughts on this – some want to move forward now. Others don't. We believe the various scenarios in this application balance those differences and provide the framework for an open and constructive discussion with the ACC.
In many ways,
water districts are already run as a single group. Water service and customer service is the same, no matter where a customer lives. Many things that go into providing service – engineering, billing and customer service, purchasing materials and supplies, water quality and safety and personnel training, for example – are the same no matter where we provide. And, many of our districts are already joined together.
Aging water systems are also very real issue for communities. To make sure water is there when you need it – and that's safe to use – we must maintain, fix and replace the wells, pumps, pipes and treatment facilities that bring your water to you. Every district needs repairs and replacements – that's going to fluctuate year to year, and from place to place. Sometimes there will be a significant amount of infrastructure work all at the same time across many different service areas.
Ultimately, any changes rest on what the ACC believes is in the best interest of customers. We've presented five different scenarios for the ACC to consider, but until the ACC makes a decision these are simply example scenarios and nothing more.
There's a lot more to water than turning on the tap. The best way to protect customer affordability is to bring them together.