With irrigation season just two days away and a large showing of unhappy water users at Wednesday's meeting, the board abandoned a five-year plan that would have capped increases an average of 6.5 percent each year, or 32 percent total.I read the rest of the article and did the numbers. The rate increases would cost ranchers $8 more per year per irrigated cow. Fewer than 3 percent of customers protested rate increases, and that was enough for them to back off from the "large" showing. Did the NID panel ever receive a protest in FAVOR of higher bills? No. Have people ever protested federal tax increases (and been heard?) No.
Instead, the board will revisit the rate increase a year from now to allow for more public input. This will provide ample time to find a solution to what some ratepayers consider unfair increases at a time when they are struggling with higher gas and grocery bills.
Water is already cheap (subsidized even) and it will not be conserved if people do not have to pay to use it. At a time when a tank of gas costs $50, why are people worried about $1.50 a MONTH more for water. It's not as if we will die without driving.
Bottom Line: Water prices need to rise at LEAST to cover costs if not more. If they do not, there will be less water tomorrow.