AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - It appears Austin residents may become victims of their own success at conserving water as city officials now are considering increases in water rates to ensure the system remains in the black.
The Austin American-Statesman reports (http://bit.ly/Oz088D ) the city faces a conundrum: Residents aren't buying enough water to allow the Austin Water Utility to generate enough revenue.
The utility sustained a $10 million loss in water sales in the first few months of this fiscal year. It recorded a $27 million loss in sales last fiscal year.
Officials say correcting the shortfall could require higher "drought rates." A new rate structure could be proposed this summer. One idea is to have rates rise as the lakes that supply Austin's water shrivel, a concept similar to one Dallas has adopted.
Information from: Austin American-Statesman, http://www.statesman.com
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.