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Ironically, Wet Year May Push Up South Bay Water Rates

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(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – The abundance of ground water after the heavy rainfall in 2010 and 2011, and the success of conservation efforts, has ironically led the Santa Clara Valley Water District to try and raise rates to make up for lower demand.

A spokesman said the water district is seeking a 9.4 percent increase next year, and annual increases of about 9 percent for the following four years.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

The water district hopes to offset the lower demand from its now brimming reservoirs to cover maintenance and repair costs, said board member Richard Santos.

“In just one dam alone, there’s up to $140 million worth of retrofitting that has to be done, so the cost is enormous,” he said.

The higher rates would translate to about $1.69 a month for most house holds, according to the Palo Alto Daily News.

If enough well owners protest, the rate increase can be blocked.

A hearing on the rate increase proposal is set for Tuesday, April 19. The water district board has scheduled a vote on the new rates for April 26.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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