Save Our Water CT 2-10-2020 Comments on MDC's "Economic Development Rate" Proposal
1. Reality of Drought Regulations: Last week (2-3-2020), the M.D.C.'s C.E.O. tried multiple times to sidestep a question of mandatory reduction in Niagara water use during drought. MDC could TALK with Niagara and could PLAN for shutdowns, but it has no authority to prioritize water use during drought triggers. MDC’s own Water Supply Plan indicates that mandatory industrial limits would not occur until its reservoirs are at 10%! So, while residents will be asked to conserve, lawn watering will be prohibited, and municipal use curtailed, bottles will be leaving the watershed and the state. If the MDC is SO sure that there will NEVER be drought restrictions, why did it furiously lobby against sensible state regulations state regulations to require a renewable permit based on safe yield and to limit water bottling once residential restrictions went into effect? In CT, all water transfers of more than 250,000 gallons/day of water out of watersheds in pipes require permits- but not those done by trucks!
2. Realities of the Rate Discounts: The M.D.C.'s C.E.O represented- at last week’s board meeting and in the press -that an increase of Niagara’s water use to its max of 1.8M gallons/day would result in a water rate decrease of 10 cents per ccf to all customers & therefore, be a very good deal. It assumes that Niagara’s water usage would increase 1.2M gallons/day or 1604 ccf/day (1 ccf = 748 gallons) for 363 days/yr.
If Niagara were to increase its water use by THAT much (1604 ccf/day for 363 days = 582,354 ccf/yr), here’s what MDC revenue would be WITHOUT DISCOUNTS:
If MDC offers Niagara BOTH a 20% water rate discounts and a 75% CWPC discount (based on sending out 75% of its water in bottles and only ~25% into the sewer), here are the figures:
And, if there is NO increase of water use and discounts are given for water over 600,000gallons/day, MDC could stand to lose $116,000/year ($116,000 - $23,000 from water, $93,000 from CWPC).
The additional income MDC is expecting from ordinance changes for their one super-user are at best speculative. These discounts, narrowly constructed for just one industry, are not economic development rates and are not the solution to long term rate increases. They will not offset the ever-increasing bills MDC’s projects into 2060. Revenue generated by the sale of Class A water to bottlers should be fully used to subsidize residential rates or water assistance programs, not corporate profits.
Save Our Water CT
Citizen advocates acting to protect and conserve Connecticut's public trust waters.