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Phil Matier: Water Rates To Rise If Governor’s Delta Water Project Is Built

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(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Phil-Matier_BIO-HEAD Phil Matier
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SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – Several Bay Area water agencies plan to raise rates if a massive Delta water diversion project, proposed last week by Gov. Jerry Brown, actually gets built.

The proposed $23 billion underground twin tunnel system would carry water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to southern California farmland and cities.

Just how much water bills for the estimated two million combined customers will go up remains to be seen.

KCBS’ Phil Matier Reports:

Among the agencies currently receiving a significant supply from the Delta: the Santa Clara Valley Water District, the Alameda County Water District, and the Zone 7 Water Agency.

Officials with all three agencies say they expect their rates to rise anywhere form 10% to 20%, translating into bills increasing by several dollars monthly – for the “average” household.

Critics of the governor’s proposal suggest that water rates would go up even more. They note that the agencies are basing their calculations only on the $14 billion cost of construction the tunnels, not the  additional $5 billion for maintenance and operation, the $3-4 billion in habitat restoration,  nor the interest on bonds used to help pay construction costs.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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