Southern Nevada Water Authority approves rate hikes

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Maybe some complaints will surface next year, when higher water bills begin to land in local mailboxes.

On Thursday, though, Southern Nevada Water Authority board members received virtually no opposition as they voted unanimously to raise rates starting in January to pay down two decades of construction debt totaling more than $3 billion.

“We have a legal obligation to pay this money,” board member and Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak said. “We can’t just kick the can down the road. … It’s our responsibility to start making some payments.”

All customers, from the smallest home to the largest resort, will see their bills go up by a similar proportion, though the exact dollar amount will vary widely based on the size of a property’s water line and how much water is used.

The new rates will be phased in gradually through 2017, so the average monthly water bill for a typical single-family home will rise by a little more than a dollar each year for the next four years.

A residential customer with an average monthly bill of $34.34 will wind up paying $39.26 a month on average by 2017. A customer with an average monthly bill of $107.47 will wind up paying $115.63.