EBMUD approves nearly 20% rate hike for water bills, pinching customers for conserving water

The East Bay Municipal Utility District on Tuesday approved a 19 percent rate hike, defying customers who say they are being penalized for conserving water during California’s long-running drought.

EBMUD’s board of directors voted 6-1 to approve the increase, the first part of which will kick in as soon as tomorrow.

The stepped-in increase will raise rates by 9.25 percent now and then by another 9 percent in July 2018, which comes out to an increase of around $4.34 per month for the average household this summer and $4.64 monthly when the second raise takes place next July, according to EBMUD measures.

EBMUD has said it needs more funds to replace aging infrastructure and other maintenance — and says around 30 percent of the money will go toward filling a projected $30 million gap created when customers conserved water during the drought.

“I’ve done everything I can,” Becci Haskew, a woman walking her dog near Lafayette reservoir , told local FOX affiliate KTVU in an interview.“Now, I get punished for it.”

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