Water rate workshop Thursday at Tahoe
IF YOU GO
What: Water rate workshop
When: 11 a.m. Thursday
Where: Kahle Community Center, 236 Kingsbury Grade
The closer residents live to the sixth-largest freshwater lake by volume in the United States the higher their water bills are.
Lake Tahoe residents pay some of the highest water rates in Douglas County, with water bills for those living at Cave Rock hitting $195.37 a month now.
Zephyr Cove residents are paying $99.91 a month, according to a rate survey conducted by FCS Group which will be presented at a workshop 11 a.m. Thursday at Kahle Community Center in Stateline.
The survey affects the 3,500 customers of the county’s water system, which serves Cave Rock, Zephyr Cove and Skyland at Lake Tahoe. The county also serves Johnson Lane, Genoa, Jobs Peak and Sheridan Acres. Most residents in Douglas County are served by one of the improvement districts, Minden or the Gardnerville Water Co.
The county consolidated its eight water systems into two in 2013. While the three Lake Tahoe systems are combined, they each have different rates, which has been a topic of contention.
Cave Rock residents sued the county in 2016 for $3 million, contending they were be charged for work in neighboring Uppaway. They agreed to drop the lawsuit in 2018 if the county consolidated its water system.
None of the Lake Tahoe water systems are metered, unlike those in Carson Valley. An average water bill in the Valley system with 16,000 gallons a month is $71.94. Skyland residents are paying $84.56.
According to the FCS study, water rates for Valley customers would go up to $76.26 in a consolidated system, while newly metered Lake Tahoe residents would pay $96.26 a month.
The difference would be used to pay for Tahoe’s critical capital improvements.
A 5-percent rate increase would be necessary for Carson Valley customers, according to the study. That means a $91.82 a month average bill by 2024.
According to a comparison to other water purveyors in the region, Douglas customers pay one of the higher rates with an average of $70.90.
Gardnerville Water Co. users pay an average of $21.98 a month, according to the FCS survey, while the Gardnerville Ranchos is charging $26.90 and Minden is charging $30.38.
Both Gardnerville and the Ranchos require meters, so individual bills vary depending on how much water residents use.
The Kingsbury General Improvement District is charging $130.05. One of the lowest water rates in the Tahoe Basin is that of the Incline Village General Improvement District, which charges $51.97 a month.
Lake Tahoe water rates tended to be fairly low until the early 1990s when federal water treatment requirements were implemented.