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City Council to consider 50% water rate hike

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The real news is why a 50% rate hike is required - WATER CONSERVATION. Per the story linked below:

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Chambers attributes the "sharp spike" this year to a drop in water use.

"There has been a significant drop in the consumption of water," Chambers said. "When the city asked people to conserve water, people responded and significantly reduced their consumption. When the council did that, we were acutely aware - (Councilman) Doug Crane talked about it often - that would affect the utility itself, and the drop in consumption impacted revenues significantly."

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So the easy net of the story is we pay if we conserve and we pay if we don't.

Well not quite.  Yes it is true that without water conservation the revenues to the water utility would have been the same.  But the conservation really did save water and energy. 

The new rates probably really more closely reflect what the water company should have been charging in the first place. But this is definitely the first time I have seen a water official publicly state that conserving water will drive water rates up.  Though I am not sure I totally buy the argument. Less water used means less water obtained/purchased, less water processed and less transported as well as substantially lower power bills.  It may mean they did not want to cut staff thinking that demand will rise again and they will need these folks when it does. 

Here is a link to the story:

http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/ci_15548823
 
What do you think?
 
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