Residents of Austin County who rely on the Austin County Water Supply Corporation for their water needs are up in arms over proposed rate hikes for 2023. The proposed rate changes have prompted residents to create a petition that will be sent to the Texas Public Utilities Commission in Austin. The petition aims to gather signatures from residents who are protesting the rate hikes not only for 2023 but also for the next year.

The petition to protest the water rate changes will be available for signatures at two different locations in the county. On Saturday, March 11th, residents can visit the Crossroads located at FM 949 at FM1094 in Cat Spring, TX, from 8 a.m. to noon. Alternatively, they can visit the Bellville Library parking area from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the same day.

Water rates are raised for various reasons, some of which include:

  1. Maintenance and infrastructure costs: One of the most common reasons for water rate increases is the cost of maintaining and repairing the infrastructure used to provide clean water to residents. This includes repairing and replacing old pipes and water treatment plants.

  2. Increased demand: As the population in an area grows, so does the demand for water. This may require the construction of new water treatment facilities, which can be expensive.

  3. Drought and water shortages: When an area experiences drought or water shortages, it can become more expensive to obtain water. In some cases, the cost of water may rise significantly to cover the increased expenses.

  4. Energy costs: The process of purifying and distributing water requires energy. As the cost of energy rises, so does the cost of providing water to residents.

  5. Inflation:  As the cost of living increases, the cost of providing water to residents also increases.

Residents of Austin County are making their voices heard by protesting proposed water rate hikes.

The rate increased in January by 50 cents bringing the total to $9 per 1000 gallons.  The price per meter was also increased by a dollar.  

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