Rate hike on water district’s agenda

The San Benito County Water District Board of Directors will
consider Wednesday raising water rates for the delivery of San
Felipe Water.
The San Benito County Water District Board of Directors will consider Wednesday raising water rates for the delivery of San Felipe Water.

The water district announced Friday that even though this year’s water supply forecast is below normal, the district has a full supply of surface water for its customers.

The district’s forecast calls for 50 percent of agricultural supply and 75 percent in municipal and industrial supply is below normal water conditions. However, the predicted amount combined with other supplies available to the district assures a full surface water supply for the Sunnyslope County Water District and the City of Hollister.

The cost for imported water is based on preliminary water rates. The San Felipe water system charges for agricultural, municipal and industrial water uses. The recommended San Felipe water distribution rates will remain the same as last year’s at $75 per acre-foot for agricultural use and $150 per acre-foot for municipal and industrial use.

However, groundwater charges in Zone 6 are based primarily on the cost for the imported Central Valley Project Water, including operations and maintenance of the CVP. The groundwater charges will remain at $1.50 per acre-foot while municipal and industrial groundwater charges decreased from $25 per acre-foot to $20.

The recommended power charge to recover pumping costs is slightly lower than the current charges, except for Subsystem 2, which increased from $15 per foot to $19.

At a special meeting Jan. 15, the board of directors approved the standby and availability charges at $6 per acre for each acre within the service area of the San Felipe distribution system.

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