SANTA MONICA—A recently approved five percent water rate hike will appear on Santa Monica resident’s water bills starting on March 1. The rate increase was approved by the Santa Monica City Council in January 2018 and was retroactively applied to all customers starting on the first day of the New Year.

Residential customers will see their rates increased to a minimum of $3.16 per hundred cubic feet of water (HCFs) for users accessing up to 14 HCFs. The rates increase up to $11.10 for those residents using 149 or more HCFs, or for dwells with more than 21 units. Non-residential rates will start at $4.48 and go up to $11.06.

City Council first approved a nine percent rate increase in 2015, but reduced it to five percent in 2016 and 2017 due to increased fiscal stability. The new rates are designed to help staunch the effects of California’s long drought by helping to reduce water consumption by residents.

The city of Santa Monica is attempting to be fully water self-sufficient by the year 2020 and is planning to reduce its reliance on the Metropolitan Water District (which supplies Santa Monica with roughly 30 percent of its water needs) over the next few years.

According to a report released by the city of Santa Monica’s Department of Public Works, the rate hike will assist with funding self-sufficiency operations for Santa Monica.