Local News

Sep 17, 2013 10:22 PM by Mike Manzoni -- mmanzoni@kristv.com

Drought Could Mean Higher Water Bill

ARANSAS PASS -- Faced with a downturn in revenue because of a downturn in water use, water districts plan to ask cities and towns to charge their residents an additional fee to account for the difference.

While water restrictions ease the adverse effects of a drought by forcing consumers to use less water, it also means the average bill is less. But the water districts that supply cities and towns are contractually promised a certain amount of money irrespective of what happens.

To make up for the lost revenue, cities and towns are forced to pass along a surcharge to residents in order account for the difference.

"It's not to enrich the water-sewer fund for additional profits or anything else like that that's being fed into the water-sewer fund," said Aransas Pass City Manager Sylvia Carrillo. "We're trying to be as efficient as possible. We've installed radio meters and things across the city to make sure everybody's water usage is exactly to the point."

Carrillo said the San Patricio Water District, which serves communities across the Coastal Bend, is expected to set its surcharge rates in January. The surcharges, which differ from community to community, are lifted when the water restrictions are eased, she said.

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