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Archived News Release from 2005

For Immediate Release

City Schedules Community Workshop on Water Rate Increases

Redwood City, CA - April 4 , 2005 - The City of Redwood City is seeking community input to help determine how best to administer upcoming necessary water rate increases, in a manner consistent with community values and equity. Several broad scenarios for water rate increases will be discussed at a community input workshop on Thursday, April 21 at 6:45 pm. This workshop takes place in the Community Room of the Downtown Library at 1044 Middlefield Road.

There are two key reasons leading to the need for water rate increases in Redwood City:

  • The anticipated rise in the wholesale cost of water
  • The cost of Redwood City’s water conservation and recycled water programs

Redwood City’s sole source of drinking water is from the Hetch Hetchy system, and the price of that water, which the City buys on behalf of the community, is anticipated to nearly triple in the next ten years. That cost increase needs to be passed along to the City’s water customers.

The City already uses millions of gallons more than its annual allotment of water. While today we can buy extra water from other cities, in the future that water is going to be more and more scarce and expensive as other cities’ water needs increase - not to mention the lack of water when the next drought hits. To address that issue, Redwood City has embarked on an aggressive water conservation campaign and a program for providing recycled water for industrial and irrigation use. Proposed rate increases will also pay for those efforts, which will result in bringing our community back into compliance with our annual water supply, and preserve water quality for the future.

Historically, Redwood City has enjoyed water bills significantly lower than the average for similar cities – and even with the necessary rate changes due to wholesale cost increases and the costs of our conservation and recycled water programs, Redwood City will still be able to provide water at rates that are among the lowest on the Peninsula.

The community is invited to participate in this important discussion on April 21st and offer perspectives and ideas on the possible impacts of water rate increases, and on how the City can proceed most fairly with this necessary step. The community’s comments will be included in a report to the City Council for their consideration in making water rate increase decisions. Call 780-7464 for more information.

Visit Redwood City’s award-winning website at www.redwoodcity.org for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, and City government.

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Contact:
Peter Ingram
Public Works Director
650-780-7464

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