East Bay Municipal Utility District customers could see their water rates increase by a total of 12 percent over the next two years under a
proposal discussed by the water agency's board of directors today.
At a special budget and rates workshop, board members directed staff to study a plan to raise rates by 6 percent on July 1 this year and
another 6 percent on July 1 next year, according to EBMUD spokesman Charles Hardy.
However, Hardy said it is still early in the process. He said the next step would come on May 10, when agency general manager Alexander Coate
presents his proposed two-year budget.
If the board decides to continue pursuing a rate hike, there will be a public hearing and vote on June 14.
Hardy said EBMUD is considering a rate hike because its costs are
going up but its revenues are going down.
He said the water agency has been hit by rising gas prices, as it has a large fleet of trucks, as well by higher prices for chemicals that are
used to treat water.
In addition, EBMUD's 1.4 million customers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties are using less water than expected, Hardy said.
He said the water agency had projected that customers would use an average of 190 million gallons of water a day but they're only using 161
million gallons of water daily, which is resulting in lower revenues.
Hardy said that if water usage increases, EBMUD directors would consider imposing a smaller increase in water rates.
He said EBMUD has also taken other measures to balance its budget in recent years, such as not filling positions that open up when employees
retire or take other jobs.
Hardy said several hundred jobs are unfilled, which means that a smaller number of people are doing the same amount of work.