San Jose water bill increases: How much you’ll pay and when

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — Starting next month, San Jose residents will see an increase in their water bill. 

Last week, the city council unanimously approved to increase the San Jose Municipal Water System’s drinkable and recycled water rates for 2021-2022. 

This comes as the region is facing another extreme drought and rate increases from the county’s wholesale provider, Valley Water. 

Starting July 1, residents living on the northside of the city and Alviso will see on average, an 8% increase — a little over $7 more in their water bill. 

Those living in the Evergreen and Edenvale communities will pay on average, an 12.7% increase — about $11 more for their water bill. 

But the increased rates are no surprise to residents as the city sent out flyers to customers about the potential changes since March. 

“The increase for our individual customers can vary, it can vary based on meter size, service area, the type of water we’re buying to serve to them,” said Jeff Provenzano, deputy director of the city’s water resources department.

“And also elevation, the higher up the elevation, the higher costs to get that water to.”

San Jose residents get their water from three different companies, depending on what side of town you reside in. 

The San Jose Municipal Water System serves 130,000 residents living in North San Jose, Alviso, Evergreen, Edenvale and Coyote Valley areas. 

The other two water companies, San Jose Water Company and the Great Oaks Water Company, serve the rest of the city’s population at about 80% and 8%, respectively. 

And both companies do plan to increase their rates starting next month as well. 

Provenzano tells KRON4 News about 70% of the water system’s operating costs are due to purchasing wholesale water from Valley Water. 

Valley Water is working on implementing an assistance program aimed to assist Santa Clara County’s low-income and elderly residents pay their water bills impacted by COVID-19. 

The Valley Water board will vote to fund $1 million for the program on July 13 and residents can expect that program to launch as early as August. 

“Our board recognizes that we’re all pretty strained these days and economically folks are having a hard time, so we want to make sure that we do both, that we provide the necessary supply of water that we all need,” said Tony Estremera, Board Chair for Valley Water.

“But also help those of us who are really strained right now economically.” 

For now, Valley Water is urging residents to limit water use as the hot weather begins to pick up. 

To learn ways to conserve water, visit Valley Water’s website.

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