SAN DIEGO — Measures proposing the separation of the Fallbrook Public Utility and Rainbow Municipal Water districts from San Diego County Water Authority appeared to be on their way to passing, early results showed.
Tuesday’s special election comes several months after the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) voted in favor of allowing the two water districts to leave the central water agency and switch to Eastern Municipal Water District in Riverside County, moving the proposal to a customer vote.
The two largely agricultural water districts argued that the move would help save their customers about $7.6 million per year. Farmers and growers in the districts have said they are struggling to pay their bills amid county-wide water rate increases, while also losing crops.
However, the Water Authority, along with many county leaders, strongly opposed the detachment, claiming that it could increase how much other residents in the remaining 22 member districts pay for their water by nearly $200 million over the next decade.
The agency is also pursuing a lawsuit against the governing board that voted to let Rainbow Municipal and the Fallbrook Public Utilities District detach from the Water Authority.
FOX 5’s Danielle Dawson contributed to this report.