City of Phoenix increases water rates
July 31, 2023
Phoenix residents will need to significantly cut back on water use over the next two years or risk facing drastic increases to their water bills.
Troy Hayes is the Phoenix Water Services Director and Max Wilson is the Phoenix Water Planning Deputy Director discussed the details of the plan. The city is increasing water rates in October 2023, March 2024 and March 2025 after the City Council voted for an increase at a public meeting in June.
“We have a fixed fee component in which you get a certain amount of water included in that. For most of our residential customers, that’s five or six dollars month. The portion of the bill that actually changed is the variable component, the amount of water that is used above that fixed component,” Hayes said.
Average Phoenix residents who make no change to their water consumption habits will pay 48% more, from $32.19 in 2022 to $47.53 in 2025, plus tax, according to Steve Irvine, Special Projects Administrator for the City of Phoenix Water Department.
“The allowance is fundamentally the amount of water that you get included with your bill every single month. If you stay under that amount, your bill won’t ever change as you’re going month to month as time moves forward,” Wilson said.
The increase is to incentivize customers to be mindful of the amount of water they use and to stay below those allowances, Hayes said. The cost of water increases during the summer months and deceases during the cooler times of the year.
“Most of our residents are radically overwatering the plants that they do have in their yards. We also have leaks inside our house. There are lots of things we can do to offset these increases,” Wilson said.
According to Hayes, the revenue from the increases will factor in the rising costs of inflation and the increase of the day-to day-expenses in providing water services.