Measures to detach from the water authority

SAN DIEGO — Measures that would separate the Fallbrook Public Utility and Rainbow Municipal Water districts from the San Diego County Water Authority appeared to be on the way to implementation, early results showed.

Tuesday’s special election comes several months after the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) voted to allow the two water districts to leave the Central Water Authority and move to the Eastern Municipal Water District in Riverside County, putting the proposal through a customer vote was subjected to.

The two largely agricultural water districts argued that the move would save their customers about $7.6 million a year. Farmers and producers in the districts said they were struggling to pay their bills amid nationwide water price hikes, while also suffering crop failures.

However, the water board, along with many county leaders, strongly opposed the separation, claiming it could increase water costs for other residents in the remaining 22 member counties by nearly $200 million over the next decade.

The agency is also pursuing a lawsuit against the board, which voted to allow Rainbow Municipal and the Fallbrook Public Utilities District to divest from the water authority.

FOX 5’s Danielle Dawson contributed to this report.

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