San Diego residents could see a hike in their water bills as they move into 2015, but the county’s water supplier says it’s the smallest increase in the past decade.
The San Diego County Water Authority, a wholesale supplier that provides water to 24 member agencies, has proposed “all-in” rate increases of 2.9 or 3.8 percent for untreated water and 2.6 or 3.3 percent for treated water in 2015.
That increase would show up on the member agencies’ bills, and actual rates would vary per agency. Final rates and charges will be up to the Board of Directors.
On May 22, the board will hear a presentation on the proposed rate hikes and their alternatives, and the directors will hold a public hearing on the changes on June 26.
The Water Authority blames much of the increase on another agency’s hike in water prices. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), which provides water to the San Diego County Water Authority, will be raising its treatment surcharge 14.81 percent next year.
Since the MWD represents 74 percent of the Authority’s water costs, the utility says it is forced to increase its rates as well.
However, the Water Authority will mitigate some of that hike by decreasing its own water treatment cost by 8 percent, officials say.
The proposed 2015 rates are also in response to more conservation during the statewide drought that’s expected to reduce water sales.
Additionally, officials plan to purchase some of the first water deliveries from the Carlsbad Desalination Project next fall.