Five years from now, Turlock residents will be paying twice as much for water if the City Council approves recommended increases.
The city is considering the increases to pay for a system that would draw water from the Tuolumne River. Turlock has joined with the city of Ceres to form the Stanislaus Regional Water Authority, which is working with TID on the system.
“The city is currently totally dependent on groundwater and our supply is getting lower over time. The water level in our aquifer has gone down by 25 feet since 1996,” Garner Reynolds, regulatory affairs manager for the city, said in a news release. “Using surface water would allow the city to deliver more consistent water quality and improve groundwater conditions and allow for the replenishment of groundwater for use during periods of drought.”
According to a city staff report, the typical household monthly water bill would increase $6 to $12 each year. By 2022, a family paying $36 today — the average monthly bill —would be paying $79 per month.
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Next year, when the new rates start taking effect, Turlock’s average bill would go up to $42 per month. Modesto residents, by comparison, pay an average of $55 per month for water, the report says. Tracy residents pay $28 and Davis residents pay $86.
Officials want to hear from residents before making any decisions, however. They have scheduled an informational meeting for 6 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.
The meeting is designed to allow residents to ask questions and get more information about the rates and a study the city recently completed.
A public hearing will be held in December. At that meeting, the city will hear any protests to the increase. If a majority of affected property owners and tenants submit protests, the city will reject the increases.