Town Square

EBMUD leader proposes 19 percent water rate hike over 2 years

Original post made on May 15, 2013

East Bay Municipal Utility District's general manager said deferred infrastructure and
maintenance work during the economic downturn in recent years but that "there's only so long you can defer this work without having an impact on our water service."

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 3:32 PM


Posted by Crazy, a resident of Danville
on May 15, 2013 at 6:07 am

Who can afford to live here anymore? After I retire, I'm heading out of this state.

Posted by Bill, a resident of Danville
on May 15, 2013 at 6:35 am

So a massive increase in fees from EBMUD for infrastructure improvements. Once they have made all the repairs and updating then they plan on reducing the rates? Not a chance!

Posted by More Fees..., a resident of Danville
on May 15, 2013 at 6:58 am

I saw the notice in the mail and informed my husband of the same. Just another incentive to leave... The weather is a wonderful perk to living in California, but as stupid decisions continue to be made on spending, education, higher taxes, etc. the CON list is definitely piling up...

Posted by Jim, a resident of Danville
on May 15, 2013 at 8:06 am

Even with the additional charges (approximately $68/year), I think it is a bargain for high quality potable water and clean wastewater treatment. EBMUD has taken steps to mitigate seismic events and eliminate water losses in the system. New regulations also add to the costs of any water and wastewater agency. I urge you to compare EBMUD's charges with others in the Bay Area.

Posted by JJ, a resident of Danville
on May 15, 2013 at 8:21 am

Those of us who live in the warmer east bay are hurt the most. I've had water bills of $1200.00 even after removing 1/3 of my lawn and switching to netafin from over head spray. 19%??? Lets get real. That is way above and beyond. The 12% we experienced over the last two years was a penalty for all of our conservation. It's really sad to think that this area will lose people of quality because they can't afford to live here anymore.

Posted by Disgruntled, a resident of Alamo
on May 15, 2013 at 8:41 am

Hmm, Mr. Coate with your salary over $230K that should not be a problem! Oh, yes, all those perks of the car and contributions to 401K and guaranteed salary/severance. I see how you could propose that and it would not be an issue... let's get real

Posted by sl, a resident of Alamo
on May 15, 2013 at 8:51 am

how about publishing the dates and times of the public hearings on EBMUD increase so we can go and protest this ridiculous increase. And while you're at it, where do we get a copy of the full budget revealing what they are actually spending.

Posted by Dumbfounded, a resident of Danville
on May 15, 2013 at 9:45 am

I work for the SRVUSD... We have not had a raise in about five years! We are clawing and scratching to just to get a 2% raise this year... And, of course, who knows if that will happen.


Posted by C. R. Mudgeon, a resident of Danville
on May 15, 2013 at 2:10 pm

To the poster above who commented that the increase amounted to $68 a year - please note that while this was the projected increase for a "typical" EBMUD customer, that "typical" EBMUD customer was previously only paying about $360 for a year's worth of water bills, which works out to only $60 per two-month billing period. This is definitely not typical for anyone who has a lawn or shrubs that need summer watering. Maybe this was for a "typical" apartment dweller....

To figure out your own impact, look at your bills for the past year, and figure out what a 19% adder would be... Odds are, it will be a lot higher than the quoted numbers. (You must not be "typical"....)

I also have questions as to whether the increase will be 100% tied to water usage, or if there shouldn't be a "flat" portion that is independent of water usage. Much of the infrastructure in the water treatment and delivery system is only loosely impacted by usage. So it seems to me that at least a portion of the increase should be in the base charge just for having service, and not a function of water usage.

I am also having a hard time in reconciling the size of the requested increase, with the budget numbers provided in the article.

Posted by Derek, a resident of Danville
on May 15, 2013 at 4:52 pm

To "Crazy" & "More Fees", I get what you are saying, but take a look around. Recent upper-NorthEast storms aside, most of the country is, and has been, in a drought for several years. Water rationing is in effect in many counties and states. And that means the tab rises quickly when your usage gets above the established baseline volume.

The water here tastes mighty good. Try gagging on some Milpitas H20 next time you are down that way. And be glad you don't live in Okee-homa or Nebraska. I'm not thrilled with the increase if/when it comes, and with possible rationing here 19% will probably turn into 35% very quickly. Even so, I will stick with E.B.MUD.

Now, anyone up for Comcast-bashing?

Posted by JT, a resident of Danville
on May 16, 2013 at 7:19 am

One word: xe·ri·scape !!!
Noun: A style of landscape design requiring little or no irrigation or other maintenance, used in arid regions.

The typical Bozo homeowner in this area reading this has landscaping that is better suited for a different summer climate, ie one that has rain. Wake up privileged class. It is a great deal at a 100% increase.
To the person that has a $1000+ bill... really? Look around you, do you really need all that landscaping.

Posted by Derek, a resident of Danville
on May 16, 2013 at 7:16 pm

This bozo inherited a bunch of lawn (and some other useless amenities) that I could have done without when we bought this house from the previous owners. But once you have a huge expanse of grass, it's not easy to remove after 20+ years. Maybe I can set up a mini-golf course and charge admission.
Then again, the council, being so diligent about change-of-use situations, would probably be down my throat immediately. And since I don't have money to pay them off like KB Homes and SummerHill, they might prevail, and Derek's MiniGolf & Lawn Bowling would be no more.

Posted by Tarkus, a resident of Danville
on May 17, 2013 at 9:59 am

Remember when they raised our rates for conserving too much and revenues were therefore less than expected?