SAWS board approves rate increases for next two years
A proposal to charge San Antonio Water System customers more for water and sewer service over the next two years will go to City Council on Thursday after the utility’s board approval this morning.
SAWS’ board of trustees unanimously voted for the rate increases at its board meeting. The increases would raise average SAWS residential bills by 5.8 percent in 2018 and 4.7 percent in 2019.
The rate hike will take average residential bills from $62.27 this year to $68.63 in 2019, assuming the average customer uses 7,092 gallons of water per month.
SAWS executives say they need the increase next year to repair and expand an undersized and, in some places, outdated sewer system and expand water service to fast-growing areas on the city’s West and Northwest sides.
The 2019 rates will help pay for water from the Vista Ridge pipeline now under construction and an initial rollout of automatic meters, SAWS Chief Financial Officer Doug Evanson said.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the Sierra Club’s Alamo Group chair Terry Burns accused SAWS of raising its rates to bring on new, expensive but ultimately unnecessary water projects to fuel “endless growth” and sprawl.
“I urge this board to stop this gravy train for developers,” he said.
SAWS most recent water management plan calls for a continued drop in its customers’ water use from 117 gallons per person per day this year to 88 gallons by 2070.
Check back for updates on this developing story.