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San Diego Water Bills May Be Going Up, Again

The Sacramento Delta is shown in this picture, Sept. 19, 2017.

Photo by Erik Anderson

Above: The Sacramento Delta is shown in this picture, Sept. 19, 2017.

San Diego County residents could be facing significantly higher water bills if a Sacramento Delta tunnel project moves forward.

The Metropolitan Water District’s is considering a different avenue now that the $17 billion California WaterFix project no longer appears viable.

The two-tunnel option to move water under the Sacramento Delta never got past the proposal stage because major California agricultural water users did not want to pay for it.

Metropolitan will consider alternatives at a board meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

RELATED: Smaller Water Tunnel Project Means Higher Costs For San Diego

One plan calls for the construction of just one tunnel now and another sometime in the future. The board will also reportedly reconsider the future of the two tunnel project.

The decision to consider a smaller one tunnel option to move water under the Sacramento Delta could end up being more expensive to local water users.

Fewer financial partners mean there will be a bigger commitment from the Metropolitan Water District, which means San Diego County residents will pay more.

San Diego County Water Authority briefing documents obtained by KPBS indicate local water users could pay as little as 30 cents to $1 more a month if project costs are tacked onto the cost of water from MWD.

However, if the costs are factored into the fee MWD charges for moving water through its system, the project cost could add from $6.50 to $23 a month to local bills.

The local Water Authority has seats on Metropolitan’s Board, but not enough votes to block the project.

The MWD will decide which plan to back at its Tuesday meeting.

San Diego County residents could be facing significantly higher water bills if a Sacramento Delta tunnel project moves forward.

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