Poway City Council votes to increase water rates - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Poway City Council votes to increase water rates

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POWAY (CBS 8) - On Tuesday night, the Poway City Council unanimously voted to increase water rates.

The rate increase puts Poway water rates as the eighth most expensive in the county. The City Council acknowledged changes need to be made, but still hiked rates despite customer's outcry.

The City Council proposed to increase water rates by almost $10.92 bi-monthly for the average customer, plus $16.50 for the drought surcharge that has been suspended for the past year.

"It was my line in the sand. I am done. I am done giving up everything. We didn't move here to have it taken away, or penalized because we did what we were told to do," said Poway resident Eve Pearce.

Eve and her husband wrote a letter to the City Council urging them to reject the rate increase. For the Pearce family of five, a bi-monthly water bill is about $200.

In an effort to save more water, the family let their lawn go. "It looks nice and green because we had a lot of rain, but it's not grass - it's weeds," said Roger.

Since customers were using less water during the water conservation mandates, the city said it lost revenue. The San Diego County Water Authority also increased rates and water infrastructure projects were also key factors in the decision to increase water rates.

"My job is to make sure that when you flush the toilet and turn on the faucet it's the best drinking water you can have," said City Councilman Jim Cunningham.

The rates will go into effect immediately and will be reflective on the next water bill in march.

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