A hike in water rates for Poway residents was unanimously passed with a 5-0 vote by the City Council after three hours of discussion Tuesday night.
For the average family, that means about a $28 increase to their bi-monthly bill.
For many residents, the increase wasn't taken lightly.
“We’ve already been good citizens to conserve water and the reward we get is an increased rate because they’re not making enough revenue,” said Clifford Doughty, a resident of Poway since 1972.
Some also questioned how they are being charged for water.
Resident Gaylen Henrichs told NBC 7, he has received a bill with the same amount three times.
“For three bills in a row, it was $198.92. Last month when I complained, all of a sudden it dropped down to $166," Henrichs said. "How could you get three bills in a row in six months exactly the same?”
The water rate increase will pay for the high cost of water and system improvements, something the city says is a necessity at this point and can’t wait any longer. The maintenance and rehabilitation projects keep the city delivering water to homes, businesses and parks.
“Most of the city’s water and city’s infrastructure that you’ve heard tonight is 50 plus years old, so deferral isn’t always possible,” said Poway Mayor Steve Vaus.
But Henrichs added that he wished the City Council had found a better solution than just digging deeper into his pockets.
“They should fix the problem," he said. "Which is, they need another solution to the water. We need another source of water.”
The new rates are effective immediately and since bills are bimonthly, residents will pay the new rate in March.