California utility regulators lead the way with comprehensive affordability assessmentWonderboy was the star of the movie, but Savoy Special won the gameBetween a global pandemic and a presidential election, you might have missed it, but


What happens when governments ask the public to report water waste?Ever feel like you're being watched?Rainfall has been low, the mountain snowpack is thin, and Californians are bracing for another year of scarcity. But


​​Lessons from California ​water conservation​, 2019​Reservoirs aren't supposed to look like this.Tough water times may be back in California. After the Golden State suffered through a historically severe drought from 2012-2017, ​pleasantly wet weather


Understanding progressive & regressive water pricingIt's irrigation season, everybody!By Antonio & Manny TeodoroHow do utilities distribute the costs of drinking water systems to their customers in their rate structures?The answer is surprisingly complicated, and


Important developments in California for utility affordabilityYou probably need all threeCalifornia’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is working on establishing methods to measure affordability for utility service. The CPUC governs ratemaking for the state’s investor-owned


A decoupling drama plays out in San JoseDo you know the way?The San Jose Water Company recently proposed a significant rate increase, and its customer are understandably unhappy. Their discontent is an ironic result


A California surprise: updatePost-drought pornCalifornia has been enjoying a great deal of rain and snow over the past several months—a pleasant rebound in precipitation after the brutal drought that plagued the state from 2011-2017.


Devils (and angels) in the details, Part 5The ironic regressivity of a luxury taxIn early January the California Water Board (SWRCB) published its long-anticipated draft proposal for a statewide low-income water bill assistance program. I’ve


Devils (and angels) in the details, Part 4Nobody wants to talk about this partIn early January the California Water Board published its long-anticipated draft proposal for a statewide low-income water bill assistance program. In the


Devils (and angels) in the details, Part 3In early January the California Water Board released its draft proposal for a statewide low-income water bill assistance program. My last couple posts summarized the proposal and


Devils (and angels) in the details, Part 2It's always about the money.In early January the California Water Board released its draft proposal for a statewide low-income water bill assistance program. My last post summarized


Devils (and angels) in the details, Part 1Governor Newsom (nice haircut in the black jacket, back to the camera) dragged his cabinet down the Central Valley to hear what folks had to say about


drought pornDuring California’s recent drought, the utilities that own their supply sources conserved more than the those that purchase water from wholesale suppliers-Warning: this post contains hardcore wonkery-A while ago I blogged about my ongoing


Many California communities restricted outdoor irrigation during the recent drought. Did enforcement matter?Bad water boys, watchya gonna do when they come for you?Faced with water scarcity, communities sometimes restrict residential outdoor water use, such as


A California Surprise, Part 3California’s private utilities continued to out-conserve public utilities even after the state lifted its mandate.In 2015 the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) ordered drinking water utilities to reduce


A California Surprise, Part 2More drought porn (this is used to be Folsom Lake)How private implementation separates public policies from their political costs.Warning: this post contains hardcore wonkery.In 2015 the California State Water Resources


A California surprise, Part IDrought pornSomething unexpected happened when California ordered its utilities to save water: the state’s investor-owned private utilities out-conserved local governments.California’s long-term drought began as early as 2007, but intensified to


What California’s SB-623 reveals about water affordability and the politics of public financeWho shall pay? is the perennially vexing refrain for would-be providers of public goods. Everyone likes nice things; no one likes to


Can declaring a human right to water help address affordability?Something extraordinary is unfolding in California.In 2012, to great fanfare, California governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 685, which amended the state’s water