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TUCSON, Ariz. — In the new year, Tucson will consider hiking two fees for hooking up new water connections. It's part of the city's push to make growth pay its own way.
One of the fees is called the system equity fee. It charges new users to connect to the Tucson Water system.
The other fee was instituted in 2007 and dubbed the Central Arizona Project water-resource fee. It is assessed on new connections to help offset the cost of buying CAP water.
For a standard five-eighths-inch residential water connection, the system-equity fee would increase 3.2 percent, or $49, to $1,577 per connection.
The CAP water system equity fee would rise by 2.5 percent, or $5, to $207 per standard five-eighths-inch residential water connection.
Both fees are implemented on a sliding scale, based on the size of the water meter being installed.
Fernando Molina, a Tucson Water conservation program manager and spokesman, said the fees are one-time payments made when the new water meter connects to the system.
They help place the cost of expanding the water system on future users, Molina said.
The CAP fee is part of the city's strategy to begin taking all of its CAP allocation by 2009 instead of 2015, as was originally planned.
In June 2006, the council voted to increase water rates by 4.6 percent to help speed construction of a new underground storage facility so Tucson can start taking its entire CAP allocation sooner rather than later.
Tucson officials said the reason for the accelerated schedule is that if a water shortage is ever declared, the city stands to get less CAP water.
If a shortage should last decades, city staffers said, Tucson risks losing access to its full allocation of water if it is not taking the full amount when a shortage is declared.
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