Bay Area drought

East Bay MUD to Vote on 4% Water Rate Increase

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The East Bay Municipal Utility District is expected to vote Tuesday on whether or not to raise rates for its customers by 4% in July of this year, and another 4% in 2022.

The agency, which provides water to 1.4 million people in the East Bay, said it needs additional money to pay for things like replacement of old pipelines, upgrading of water and wastewater treatment plants and drought preparation.

Other parts of the Bay Area, such as the South Bay, are also experiencing water shortage and are taking precautions to address severe drought across the region.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District Board is expected to declare drought emergency Wednesday, and ask its 2 million customers to cut back their usage by 15% based on their usage from 2019.  

Such decision comes as a consequence of a very dry winter that has lead to another extremely low snowpack in the Sierra, and the Anderson Reservoir - which the district relies upon - was already nearly empty because due to a project aimed at making it earthquake-safe.

"We are having trouble buying water on the open market because everyone else is buying it up, and its ten times more expensive that it was just two years ago," said Santa Clara Valley Water District Board vice chair Gary Kremen, "and there is the transportation process."

Each city and its respective water company are responsible to decide how to meet the proposed mandatory restrictions. In the past, options have included water cops, fines and water restrictions set to certain days.

NBC Bay Area reached out to San Jose Water, but the company did not confirm if prices will go up for residents.

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