As a direct result of the participation of hundreds of volunteers and supporters, the Spring Branch, Texas based citizen’s Coalition for Equitable Water Rates (CEWR) has aggressively challenged CLWSC’s request, ultimately forcing a rate hearing before the Texas Commission On Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and two Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) appointed by the State of Texas. On October 31, 2011, initial direct testimony and exhibits were filed on behalf of CEWR (by attorneys Matthews and Freeland LLP) before the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings. CEWR was able to develop and file evidence presenting a compelling case in the formal rate hearing (April 2012), strongly challenging the seven (7) major financial issues CLWSC has raised in their rate increase filing.
CEWR made a very effective case against all of Canyon Lake Water’s claims, with its water rate analysts and lawyers providing detailed research and facts to demonstrate that the rate increase is NOT justified. The TCEQ staff has shown strong support for the Coalition’s position, by testifying at the most recent hearing and agreeing with CEWR on virtually all issues. The TCEQ staff recommended a rate order very close to CEWR’s position of a no greater than 21% total rate increase.
The Coalition for Equitable Water Rates has also gathered support from key local politicians.
"I am very pleased that the efforts CEWR and it's many volunteers have given should insure water is available at affordable rates. Their efforts are what community service is all about."
Jan Kennady Commissioner, Precinct 4 Comal County, Texas
“As a ratepayer I am very grateful for all CEWR’s efforts. Their fight for reasonable, equitable rates has been hard but so important to us all. Hats off to these courageous volunteers. Thank you all.”
Donna Eccleston Commissioner, Precinct 1 Comal County, Texas
CEWR’s protest continues to send a powerful message to the California water company that they should not get rich providing a basic public service to rural Texans.
Key Date Estimates Prior to the final rate order
May ‘12 Briefs/
July ‘12 Rate Case Expense Hearing – separate hearing to challenge CLWSC’s rate case cost claims they want to charge the ratepayers in addition to their requested rate increase.
Sep ‘12 Briefs/
Nov’12 Proposal for Decision- ALJs written discussion and evaluation of expert testimony and evidence presented at the hearing. ALJ makes comprehensive finding of fact and conclusions of law on all contested issues to the full TCEQ Commission for approval of the final water rate order.
Feb ’13 TCEQ issues final rate order.
*TWA - http://www.texaswateralliance.com/