Your water bill might go up. Here’s what you should be aware of if you reside in the South Bay

Residents of the South Bay may soon experience an increase in their water bills. San Jose Water, a provider serving over a million customers, has proposed a rate hike of 22% over the next three years. Here’s the expected impact on the average monthly residential bill for San Jose Water customers:

  • In the upcoming year, the average bill is projected to increase from $107 to $120.
  • By 2025, the average bill would be $125.
  • And by 2027, the average bill would rise to $131.

Please note that these figures do not include additional surcharges and fees.

The proposed rate hike by San Jose Water still requires approval from the California Public Utilities Commission.

Residents in the area, already grappling with inflation and recent increases in their PG&E bills, expressed dismay at the prospect of another rate hike, stating that they are feeling the financial strain.

“PG&E is up. Gas is up. Food is up,” remarked San Jose resident Mary Lou Von Pinnon. “I’m not really surprised.”

San Jose Water justified the increase as necessary to fund construction projects and replace aging pipes. The utility currently has 2400 miles of water mains and replaces approximately 24 miles annually.

“We ask for what we believe is just and reasonable, and nothing more than that,” stated Liann Walborsky, director of corporate communications at San Jose Water. “We have escalating operating expenses. We have investments in infrastructure to continue providing safe and reliable water service.”

Additionally, Valley Water, the wholesaler for South Bay water agencies, is planning its own rate increase for infrastructure projects such as retrofitting the Anderson Dam. If approved in May, residents can expect their monthly bill to increase by nearly $9.

“We understand the desire to keep water rates down; our board is looking at that every day and they’re looking for solutions. In fact, we have a hiring freeze right now looking at operational costs and what we could cut there,” explained Matt Keller, a spokesperson for Valley Water.

While some customers expressed frustration at the potential rate hikes, they also acknowledged feeling powerless to prevent them.

“Of course it’s frustrating, but what are you going to do? You don’t have a choice,” Pinnon added. “You still need gas in your car. You still need to use the water.”

Public forums are scheduled to discuss these increases, with Valley Water’s forum set for 1 p.m. on Tuesday and San Jose Water’s forum scheduled for June 13th.

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