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East Bay Customers Could Face Water Rate Hike

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faucet (AP)

(AP)

OAKLAND (KCBS) – Leaders of the East Bay Municipal Utility District are considering a plan to raise water rates over the next two years.

District officials said costs are going up while water usage is down. In fact, EBMUD Board President John Coleman said customers are using about 40 million gallons a day less than before the drought and recession hit.

“People are using less water. I believe we’re still in a recession,” said Coleman. “We’re out of a drought. We did find that when we come out of a drought, it takes a number of years for people to go back to normal consumption. If we exceed 172 million gallons a day, which we’re forecasting to use, that would mean that perhaps next year, our rates would be less than six percent.”

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

For now, the proposal calls for a six percent increase for water services both this July 1st and next July as well, with a formal vote on the proposal scheduled for mid-June.

Coleman said the rising costs of health and pension benefits and the above average rainfall this year have also played a key role in the need for a rate hike in the budget proposal for 2012 and 2013.

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