Latest Updates

Monterey Herald, May 30, 2015 
Commentary by Ron Weitzman

"Cal Am aggression
rankles hesitant alliance"

"...its supportive and protective alliance of business, agriculture and residents may be on the brink of falling apart."

Monterey Herald, May 3, 2015 
Commentary by Melodie Chrislock

"We conserve, bills rise, Cal Am gains"

"...our current dilemma: the more we conserve, the more our water will cost us, in order to protect Cal Am's revenue and profit." 

Monterey Herald, April 18, 2015 
Commentary by Ron Weitzman

"Reasons for local coddling
of Cal Am unclear"

"...profit remains the name of the game played on a game board strewn with broken rules..." 

Monterey Herald, March 1, 2015 
Commentary by Ron Weitzman

"Expenditure secrecy fuels water deal heat"

"...The fumes show that the fire is not yet out."

Monterey Herald, Feb 7, 2015 
Commentary by Ron Weitzman

"County should enforce desal ordinance"

"Simply put, Cal Am screwed up, and Cal Am should pay up."

Monterey Herald, Jan 10, 2015 
Commentary by Ron Weitzman

"It's time to take the reins from Cal Am "

"...ratepayers will continue to face steeply rising costs without relief from water shortages if they do not take matters into their own hands."

Article referenced in the commentary above:
Monterey Herald, Dec. 9, 2013
Guest Commentary by Ron Weitzman
"Public financing best for water project"

Monterey Herald, Jan 17, 2015 
Commentary by Bill Hood

"Ratepayers are shouldering the burden"

"Cal Am and all others involved ... are the ones who should also suffer, not the ratepayers."

2014 Archive

Monterey Herald, Oct 3, 2014 
Opinion by Ron Weitzman

"Slant-well test a waste of time, money"

"...the issue is the illegality of exporting groundwater from the Salinas Valley, not whether that exportation may or may not cause harm." 

Monterey Herald, May 18, 2014 
Guest Commentary by Ron Weitzman

"Residential ratepayers will
bear brunt of fine if O fails"

"...The only recourse residential customers
have is to support Measure O.."

Monterey Herald, April 5, 2014 
Opinion by Ron Weitzman

"Measure O far from a distraction"

"...we see Measure O as almost
necessitated by Cal Am's proposal."

Monterey Herald, Dec. 10, 2013
Letter by Bill Hood

"The Numbers Don't Lie"

In these staggering numbers, there are simple truths that cannot be avoided.

Monterey Herald, Oct. 16, 2013
Letter by Ron Weitzman

"Cal Am Gasps for Air"

That loud gurgling sound you hear from Cal Am in its opposition to eminent domain is its gasping for air.

WaterPlus endorses Brenda Lewis for Monterey Peninsula Water Management District board.
Read our endorsement and her reply here.

Debt Facts and Figures

Cal Am currently charges ratepayers 6.63% on debt, 9.9% on equity, and 8.41% on debt plus equity. A public utility owner would today (2013) likely charge ratepayers no more than 3.5% on debt and nothing on equity or debt plus equity (called the "rate base"). In this calculation, equity is determined by the CPUC and has nothing to do with fair-market value, which is equal to debt plus actual equity. This (fair-market) value for Cal Am was appraised to be $94 million in late 2011. Cal Am's current debt is $59,113,028. Its equity as determined by the CPUC is equal to 53 times its debt divided by 47, or $66,659,372, so that its debt plus equity (rate base) is equal to $125,772,400.

Use this information, together with the above mortgage calculator, to compare Cal Am and public-ownership costs for removing the San Clemente Dam ($49 million debt) and building a new desalination plant ($210 million debt for the plant plus $110 million debt for the pipe to Seaside), excluding annual operation-and-maintenance costs (assumed equal for public or private ownership). Use a 20-year loan for the dam and a 30-year loan for the desalination plant.

You can also use this calculator to estimate the net cost to ratepayers of a purchase of Cal Am by a public agency. This would be a low-ball estimate because it does not take into account income and property taxes (not paid by a public agency) or the cost of interaction with the CPUC (required only for a private company). Enjoy!


Since the collapse of the regional desalination project, in which WaterPlus advocated for community control by promoting the municipalization of Cal Am, WaterPlus has expanded its mission as follows: To advocate in behalf of local Cal Am ratepayers for an adequate and affordable water supply by all reasonable means, including (its original mission) the persuasion or creation of a public agency to purchase Cal Am.


To implement this new mission, WaterPlus is promoting the development of a desalination plant that will be sufficiently large to constitute a drought-proof water supply for the Monterey Peninsula, at the least possible cost to local ratepayers.


Five desal ownership scenarios
and their cost to the consumer.

Click image to view pdf.


Video interview with Ron Weitzman, President of WaterPlus.

This 24-minute segment of the "Your Town" TV program aired on 6/24/2013, and was hosted by Carmelita Garcia, former Mayor of Pacific Grove, CA.


Water supply and demand
on the Monterey Peninsula.

Click image to view pdf.

We want to hear from you!
Click here to send us a message!


State Water Board Review, June 2013

On June 4th the State Water Board held a public hearing on its review of the proposed Cal Am project requested by the CPUC.

WaterPlus was one of a handful of parties who had responded in writing to the review.

Read the entire review here.

Read the WaterPlus response


Steering Committee

Harvey Billig
(Vice President)

Claude Hutchison

Skip Keyzers

Dan Matterson

Dan Presser

Dick Rotter

Richard Stillwell

Ron Weitzman

Anna Yateman 

Read more about the
Steering Committee Members

Our New Name!

Monterey Herald, January 15, 2015

New Name

Click on the image above
to view a larger pdf

The Desal Corner

Read about the Water Buffalo Cal–Am–ity!

Click the image to download or view the pdf brochure.

Invited Responses by WaterPlus 
On Feb. 28, ALJ Seaneen McCarthy Wilson invited responses to two queries. Click the link above to view the March 14 responses by WaterPlus. (This document is an 8-page pdf to download or read online, depending on your browser settings.)

Judge's decision affects desal plans
Monterey Herald, March 7, 2014
Guest Commentary by Ron Weitzman

Recent Items, February 2014

Reply Brief before the Public Utilitites Commission 2/14/2014 (pdf)

Commentary in the Monterey Herald by Ron Weitzman, Feb 9, 2014

Opening Brief before the Public Utilitites Commission 1/24/2014 (pdf)

Sizing Agreement 7/31/2013 (pdf)

(Please Note: Your individual browser settings will determine whether you download these pdf files or view them online.)

Securitization Legislation proposed by the Water Management District.
View PDF by clicking here

August 2013: Settlement Agreement by parties to Cal Am's water-project application, and the WATERPLUS response to it.

Settlement Agreement

Comments by WaterPLus 

"In the 13,089 words of the agreement the word 'ratepayers' is tellingly absent"
Guest Commentary by Ron Weitzman in the Pacific Grove Cedar Street Times, August 20, 2013

"There is a third water supply option"
Guest Commentary by Ron Weitzman, Monterey County Herald, June 21, 2013

23-page testimony filed by Ron Weitzman in April, 2013, to the California Public Utilities Commission. Click here to view/download the pdf.
(Your own computer settings will determine whether you download this file or view it online.)

Open letter to the
Pacific Grove City Council

(Monterey Herald, Jan 2, 2013).

Open letter to the
Monterey County Board of Supervisors

(Monterey Herald, Dec 12, 2012).

Core Game Plan for
Cal-Am Exposed

Cal-Am’s plan to crush opposition and raise prices was recently unintentionally exposed in an internationally distributed article entitled Ten Companies to Invest in Over the Next Decade.

Cal-Am is owned lock, stock and barrel by the American Water Works Company, a huge New Jersey corporation.

(View American Water's corporate revenue data here.)

AWK (as the company is listed on the New York stock exchange) in turn is heavily owned by European share holders, of whom the key ownership is German.


Cal Am vs. Public Ownership:
Cost Comparisons
2013 Updates

1. Read Ron Weitzman's letter
to the Monterey Herald, 4/28/13

Charts for easy online Viewing:



PowerPoint files to download
for offline viewing
(Viewing requires Microsoft PowerPoint™)

4. Cost Comparisons

5. Cost Comparisons
including Capital Improvements

Water News
from Ron Weitzman

Special updates by the President of WATERPLUS MONTEREY.

Click here to read Issue #4 online or download a pdf.

Read Issue #3.    Read Issue #2.

Read Issue #1.

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