Travis County commissioners vote to price bulk water closer to market rate

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Travis County commissioners unanimously voted to raise the price of bulk water at an Aug. 13 meeting.

Commissioners Jeff Travillion, who represents Precinct 1, and Margaret Gomez, who represents Precinct 4, were absent.

Currently, non-potable bulk water is sold at $0.25 per 100 gallons to residential water customers and $0.50 per 100 gallons to commercial water customers.

However, these rates are “significantly below the cost to provide the water services,” county staff wrote in a brief. Additionally, there is no clear way to distinguish between residential versus commercial use.

To recover the full costs of providing bulk water services, the county’s Transportation & Natural Resources Department recommended commissioners raise the price for all customers to $12.28 per 100 gallons.

This price is aligned with what other providers in the area are charging, according to the brief.

Although this change will not help the county increase its revenue, it will help it manage its costs.

This is critical in light of the coming property tax revenue cap, which state lawmakers approved during the most recent legislative session.

The cap will take effect in October 2020 and is forecasted to cost the county more than $176 million in property tax revenue in the first five years it is in place.

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  1. Let me get this straight. The county is currently charging 25 cents per 100 gallons of untreated water, and they want to raise the price to $12.28 ??? That’s a more than 49X increase in price, to more than 12 cents a gallon! At that rate you can forget about doing any outside watering, or washing your car. And all the water parks will be forced to shut down.

    I was just reading that the average person uses 80 – 100 gallons of water a day, and that includes stuff like bathing, washing clothes, washing dishes, etc. 100 gallons of water at the county’s new rate of 12.28 cents per gallon of water would be $12.28 worth of water per person, per day! This article can’t possibly be correct! Please go back and check your facts!

  2. Professional Bean Counter

    At 12.28 cents a gallon, it would cost you more than 15 cents just to flush a high efficiency toilet that uses just 1.28 gallons per flush. Heaven help you if all the poop doesn’t go down after the first flush, and you have to re-flush!

  3. According to Dropcountr an efficient house in my neighborhood in NW Austin uses 10,900 Gallons of water a year. At $12.28 per 100 Gallons that is $1,338.52 per yer and that is for an efficient house.

    This article must be wrong. I could potentially see $1.28 per 100 Gallons.

    If $12.28 is correct then we must protest this and demand a public meeting.

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Emma Freer
Emma Freer began covering Central Austin for Community Impact Newspaper in 2017. Her beat includes the Travis County Commissioners Court and local business news. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School in 2017.
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