Water charges in Santa Clara County are rising as Santa Clara County faces the threat of drought.
On Tuesday, the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a 9.1% rate hike for fiscal year 2022.
From July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, the average county resident will pay an additional $ 4.30 to $ 4.82 per month for water charges.
Chairman Tony Estremera said the increase would help pay for the additional emergency water needed to meet the needs of the population and keep groundwater at healthy levels.
“We will also strengthen our water conservation programs, expand the use of reclaimed water, and embark on Anderson Dam seismic rehabilitation projects to help our communities prepare for droughts and other natural disasters. You can protect your safety and increase your water storage capacity. The county, “said Estremera.
The rate hike will also be used to fund the $ 2.5 billion Pacheco Reservoir Expansion Project’s Environmental Impact Report. This is the side of opposition from the Mayor of San Jose, Samricard, and the Sierra Club of the Environmental Group.
The expansion project will increase the operational capacity of the reservoir from 5,500 acre-foot to up to 140,000 acre-foot, allowing the county to store more water locally.
Today, the county purchases 50% of its water supply, many of which are stored in remote water banks.
Water reaches the county through embankments and pipes, but in the event of a severe drought, Vice-Chair Gary Clement said the county may not have access to the water.
“It’s like a bank account and you can’t retrieve it when you need it. It’s a shame it doesn’t work in a very dry year,” Clement said.
But for Likert, spending $ 2.5 billion on a project that doesn’t increase water supply is not a wise investment.
Last week, Likert advised the Board to consider other conservation or other water supply increase projects to fund it instead.
At a meeting on Tuesday, resident Greg Stein asked board members why he was not considering such a project instead of expanding the reservoir.
Clement replied that the board is considering all options.
“”[That’s why] There are alternatives to the environmental impact report, so we had to get to this environmental impact report before making a decision, “said Clement.
According to Estremera, the cost of an environmental impact report is about .28 cents per month for the average household.
Even without the proposed Pacheco Reservoir Expansion Project, water charges will increase by 8.5% to fund additional water purchases, Anderson Dam seismic rehabilitation projects and other conservation and sustainability programs.
At the meeting, the board also voted to develop a one-year low-income residential water rate support program to help low-income county households pay water rates during a pandemic.
Santa Clara Valley Water District Board Approves 9.1% Rate Hike Source link Santa Clara Valley Water District Board Approves 9.1% Rate Hike