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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (8)
  1. etvc says:

    I’ll pay the additional $1.69 if California lowers it’s gas tax $1.69 a gallon

    1. suzanne says:

      What is not noted in this article is that the DODS (Department of Dam Safety and the Corp of Engineers are the folks requiring these retrofits. It is also the reason why the dams are NOT able to be filled to capacity.

  2. getting mad as hell says:

    rate always going up no matter what. how about reducing your expenses?

    1. elroySF says:

      Possibly the biggest delayed infrastructure expense in CA is dam retrofits. Most of them date from the Truman administration or earlier and haven’t been touched since. Reducing administrative expenses? I’m absolutely positive they could do that. I’m also pretty sure it would be a pittance compared to the billions needed to retrofit dams. Wikipedia has a list of 144 reservoirs (the list is incomplete), the youngest of which is 8 but the oldest is 121. The average age is 59, so circa 1952. There’s just no good news here.

  3. Yeah right... says:

    What about all those pay increases and lifetime benefits and pensions? Oh, no comment on that?

    It’s called budgeting. I can’t just go ask for a raise or lower my own tax rate if I have to put a new roof on my house.

    Eat it. We pay enough rates and taxes to fix everything yet I have suspicions it’s being mismanaged. Lame.

  4. George says:

    Usually when someone wants to increase the demand for their product, they reduce the cost. Can someone send these people to a basic economics class?

  5. Get the bolt gun says:

    “Darin Taylor, senior project manager at the water district, said the hikes are necessary because costs are “fairly fixed,” regardless of revenue”

    Yeah, fixed my arse…ballooning pension and benefit costs say what?

  6. elroySF says:

    It’s NOT ironic! It’s just a series of events! Please look up ‘irony’. Yeesh.