89.9 FM Live From The University Of New Mexico
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Water Authority approves rate hike for customers

Jeanette DeDios

The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority announced this week that it will be increasing the rates for water and sewer this summer.

During a meeting Wednesday, the Water Authority Governing Board approved the utility’s budget for the next fiscal year, which includes a 12% increase in water and sewer rates. The board unanimously approved the rate change.

The average residential customer should see an increase of about $6 per month.

This is the Water Authority’s first rate hike since July, 2022..

Governing board Chair Eric Olivas, who is also a Bernalillo County commissioner, said no one likes to see a bill go up, but it is important.

“We have to keep up with aging infrastructure,” he said. “We have to invest in the system, we have to invest in people.”

Former utility attorney, Leslie Padilla, pushed back on the rate hike during public comment. She argued an independent consumer advocate should have advised the board’s decision.

“It looks like you're simply taking the water utility authority's word for it,” she told the board. “There's no independent review of what they've told you, and it kind of looks like it's a rubber stamp.”

The Water Authority is offering financial assistance to customers that need it through programs like the water assistance fund and low-income credits.

The new rates will go into effect on July 1. Customers should see the change reflected in their August bills.

Support for this coverage comes from the Thornburg Foundation.

Jeanette DeDios is from the Jicarilla Apache and Diné Nations and grew up in Albuquerque, NM. She graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2022 where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Journalism, English and Film. She’s a former Local News Fund Fellow. Jeanette can be contacted at jeanettededios@kunm.org or via Twitter @JeanetteDeDios.
Related Content