As many have already heard, the Marin Water Board of Directors recently approved a four-year rate hike to allow the district to invest in water supply alternatives, upgrade aging infrastructure, increase fire-fuel reduction work on the Mount Tam watershed, and replenish depleted financial reserves. Marin Water spokesperson Adriane Mertens says the typical customer will see a 23% increase on their bill in the first year, and smaller increases in the subsequent three years.
“Unfortunately, we do need to increase our costs,” she added. “The district is losing about a million dollars a month right now due to inflationary pressures and reduced revenues due to the drought and lower consumption that we’re continuing to still see,” Mertens said. “We’re hoping that as a result of this, that in future rate proposal years, increases will be less impactful. (But) our lowest water users are going to see less of an increase than those on the other end of the spectrum, our highest water users.”
Mill Valley resident Lisa Joss finds that perplexing. “It feels completely backwards,” she says. “You’d think that if we’re using less water and installing a water-wise garden that we’d see some savings.”
During the meeting where the Board of Directors approved the rate hikes, while there were residents who showed up to oppose the plan, there were other residents showed up to voice support for the plan – arguing it’s important for Marin Water to make necessary improvements to the outdated infrastructure.
Marin Water customers can get a closer look at what their bi-monthly water bills will look like under the new rates by following this link: https://www.marinwater.org/2023RateSetting