East Bay Water Officials Seek Nearly 19 Percent Water Rate Increase Over Two Years

More than a million people in the East Bay will soon have to shell out more for water.

The East Bay Municipal Utility District is mulling increasing water rates and say the move is prompted by the seemingly counter-intuitive fact that customers saved too much water during the drought.

The proposed price hike was discussed during a district board of directors meeting on Tuesday. If approved, it would lead to a 9.25 percent increase in 2017 and a 9 percent jump in 2018, which translates to a $4.34 to $4.63 increase in monthly water bills. Combined that's a nearly 19 percent raise in two years.

The additional funds will be used to improve infrastructure from pipelines to water treatment plants.

The irony is that the money will also be used to set off revenue lost from people doing the right thing and conserving water drought the drought. Officials say the average East Bay household used about 50 gallons less of water per day while California was in the grip of a historic drought.

Customers are currently beng notified about the possible changes. A public hearing is scheduled for June before a final decision is made. The new rates would kick in July 1.

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