(LAMORINDA, Calif.) The East Bay Municipal Utility District approved an eight percent rate hike over the next two years, starting with four percent on July 1 this year and increasing the same rate again on July 1 next year.
According to the government agency, Lamorinda houses that use roughly 200 gallons of water per day will see a rate increase of $2.53 this July and another $2.66 next July.
The $2.25 billion budget, adopted by the utility's board of directors June 8, will "pay for critical improvements to the water and wastewater systems essential to supporting the community and protecting public health not just during the COVID-19 pandemic but every day," according to the materials released on the utility's website.
The agency broke down the financial disbursements on their website. According to those estimates, more than $115 million will be spent to replace aging water pipes, more than $110 million will be spent addressing climate change issues at water treatment plants, over $57 million will be spent "for improvements to the Wastewater Treatment Plant in West Oakland and sewer interceptors and pump stations" and over $45 million to replace large water transmission pipes.
According to the utility, EBMUD would invest over $800 million on water and wastewater infrastructure improvements like pipeline replacements, seismic upgrades and replacement equipment.
This comes as much of the Bay Area, including Contra Costa County, falls into what officials have categorized as D4 or exceptional drought.
EBMUD controls roughly 4,200 miles of pipelines, five reservoirs, six water treatment plants and one wastewater treatment plant. They employ roughly 2,000 employees throughout the East Bay.
An outline of the budget breakdown can be found here.