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on Jul 12, 2012
Similar to Santa Clara Water District -- the District told residents to reduce water consumption which they did then the District added an extra fee to make up for the lack of revenue from reduced water usage.
These agencies should plan ahead and allocate funds for future infrastructure upgrades, etc. not do a 15.2% hike next year to pay for everything. We were just billed to do a Hetch Hetchy upgrade.
Infra structure maintenance and upgrades benefit all of us, so I don't mind adjusting the fees to cover for those as long as the work gets done and the cash isn't sunk into employee pensions and worker's comp claims. However - we work really hard to reduce our water consumption and there are related expenses such as modifying the landscaping around our home that have swamped any savings we have with reduced water bills. Once again (like with the new trash management programs) we are punished financially for doing the right thing for the environment because the utility providers have not restructured their systems to plan for for reduced use. Silly! Yes, we have great water and still at affordable rates when compared with other countries. Seriously folks - are the parks, pools and golf courses assessed properly? Have you looked at bringing apartment complexes and high density housing into line before you ding home owners?
One need only follow current U.S. and world news stories in the to know that water as we've known it is undergoing fundamental change. Rate hikes, to the extent that they encourage conservation and do not disproportionately hurt the poor, are to be encouraged. We want to be managing water resources with a minimum of a 10 year window, better yet a 25 to 50 year window. It's better to raise rates now to encourage conservation, fix inefficient infrastructure, and enforce regulations aimed at water polluters. The U.N. declared water as a universal human right (with the U.S. shamefully abstaining from the vote), and anyone with a seventh grade science course knows the connection we share with the rest of the world in the water cycle. Better we act now on behalf of ourselves and our children than have to say "oops" later.
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