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San Juan Water District Could Hike Rates With Low Folsom Lake Levels

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Anjali Hemphill Anjali Hemphill
Anjali Hemphill joined CBS 13 in June 2012 and she's happy to make the...
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Residents in the San Juan Water District who solely rely on Folsom Lake for their water supply could see their water bills go up 30 to 60 percent in the next two months.

The reservoir has been at record lows during this year’s drought and despite a massive storm last weekend, levels are still at 50 percent of normal for this time of the year.

Water officials met on Wednesday to discuss strict indoor and outdoor watering restrictions. The crowd at the meeting was so large it had to be moved to a larger space inside a gymnasium.

The Snow family is already trying to make sacrifices to save water. They’ve pulled out plants to save on watering and run their dishwasher much less to try to cut their usage.

That’s the same kind of conservation the San Juan Water District is calling for in the drought emergency.

The district is proposing calling a Stage 4 water emergency which would call for a mandatory 40 percent reduction and an excess-use charge.

“If you do that reduction, your water bill would be slightly less than it would be under normal conditions,” said water district general manager Shauna Lorence.

But high water users who don’t cut back could be hit the worst. A family whose bill is currently $110 a month would see a 43 percent increase to $157 a month.

Not everyone is happy about the rising rates.

“That is serious, because people feel like they pay enough as it is,” Lorence said. “If they are going to get penalized on top of paying higher rates, that’s a concern. “

But the Snow family hopes the increase will encourage others to cut back.

“I think it’s just one of those things that has to happen,” said Nina Snow. “Unfortunately nobody wants to pay anything higher, but I think we have to in order to make ourselves more aware of the problem and try to conserve.”

The board will meet again in two weeks when they are expected to vote.

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