San Diego County Authority proposing 3.7% water rate increase

Posted at 7:03 PM, May 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-25 22:13:11-04

Your water bill could be getting more expensive. The San Diego County Water Authority is considering a 3.7% rate hike.

Maintaining a low-water yard does not take much work for Dutch Burman.

"There's not much land that needs to be irrigated," he said, describing his front yard, which has mulch, drought-tolerant palm trees and a low-water irrigation system.

During the drought, he scaled back on his water consumption.

"My bill has gone down so dramatically because of the conserving," he said.

His last bill came out to about $225, thanking low-flow faucets, toilets and a washer.

But his bill could be going up.

"Not too happy about it," he said.

The San Diego County Water Authority is proposing a 3.7% increase. They said next year, it will cost more to deliver water from the Colorado River.

In a press release from the Authority, they state:

On May 18, the Water Authority staff announced its recommendation to increase the rates charged to its member agencies by 3.7 percent for both untreated and treated water in calendar year 2018. The proposed rate increases are among the lowest the agency has imposed over the past decade and are in line with projections in the Water Authority’s 2015 Long Range Financing Plan.


The Water Authority proposes charging its 24 member agencies the municipal and industrial rate of $1,303 per acre-foot for untreated water in calendar year 2018, or $47 more per acre-foot than they currently pay. The Water Authority also proposes charging $1,603 per acre-foot for treated water, or $57 more per acre-foot than in 2017. Actual figures will vary by member agency, and each member agency will incorporate costs from the Water Authority into the retail rates it charges to residents, businesses and institutions. (Note: An acre-foot is about 325,900 gallons, enough to serve the annual needs of two typical four-person households in San Diego County.)

Rates will vary by utility company, but Burman does not like the idea.

"I can't conserve anymore, I really can't," he said. 

Burman said water companies should also do their part. 

"I think they need to conserve too. They need to really get down on conserving on other issues other than upping everybody's price," said Burman.

He will keep saving water, but won't be getting rid of his small green lawn.

"Everything else is pretty drought tolerant and it is a small yard."


A public hearing on the proposed rate increases, and a possible adoption, is scheduled for June 22.