Sonoma County Water Agency Announces Rate Hike

SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) – Residents and businesses served by the Sonoma County Water Agency will pay one to two percent more for water, despite conservation efforts during the years-long drought.

Water deliveries decreased 27 percent during the prolonged drought since 2013-2014, causing a sharp decline in water sales and revenue, the Water Agency said.

The Water Agency’s $39.24 million 2017-2018 water transmission budget calls for a 4.98 percent increase in wholesale water rates for Santa Rosa and Petaluma aqueduct customers, and a 5.58 percent increase for Sonoma Aqueduct customers, the Water Agency said Tuesday.

A typical Santa Rosa household will pay an additional 90 cents a month because of the wholesale water rate increase, or around $11 a year, the Water Agency said.

The Water Agency’s wholesale rates are only a portion of the county’s cities and water districts overall costs, and rates for retail customers there will vary, the Water Agency said.

The 4.98 percent wholesale water rate increase applies to Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park and Cotati. The 5.58 percent increase includes the city of Sonoma and the Valley of the Moon Water District, the Water Agency said.

Sonoma County Water Agency customers in the Marin Municipal Water District will pay 7.76 percent more, and customers in the North Marin Water District will pay an additional 6.78 percent, according to the Water Agency.

The $39.24 million water transmission system budget is a 4 percent decrease from 2016-2017. The budget includes costs for operating, maintaining and funding nearly 100 miles of water supply pipelines, pumps and storage facilities that provide drinking water to 600,000 residents in portions of Sonoma and Marin counties, the Water Agency said.

The budget also pays for critical and required habitat restoration and fishery recovery efforts in the Russian River Watershed.

© Copyright 2017 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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