U.S. Water News Online
DENVER -- So many metro area residents and businesses have
cut down on water use, the state's largest water utility is
considering raising rates to make up for lost revenue.
Despite the previous rate increases, 56 percent of Denver Water
customers are paying lower water bills than they did three years ago
because of conservation, drought restrictions and, more recently,
As a result, water sales are 19 percent below projections this
year and the utility is facing a $27.7 million deficit, finance
director David LaFrance said.
"It's not official, but it's likely," Chips Barry, Denver Water's
manager, said of the proposed hikes.
Denver Water is owned by the city and county of Denver and is only
allowed to make enough money to cover expenses.
LaFrance said the utility has already cut costs to make ends meet,
taking $54 million from savings since 2002 and leaving 45 jobs
Still, the prospect of increased rates for everyone doesn't make
sense to some Denver Water customers.
"So we did what they asked, and they're punishing us with higher
prices?" said Debra Daniels, 37, a Denver Water customer. "The
drought is starting to sound like an excuse to jack up rates."
Serena Blair, 23, a fitness trainer, said keeping the surcharges
made more sense than overall rate increases.
"Let the people wasting water pay for it," she said. "This way
everybody pays, and I use very little water."
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