Water rates could soon go up, and the BWS wants to know what you think

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Water rate increases are being discussed at Oahu's Board of Water Supply, but not without public input.

BWS is asking for community feedback on proposed rate increases presented to the Board of Directors Tuesday.

According to the BWS, the increases are needed to bring in revenue to speed up infrastructure improvements, encourage conservation and distribute rates  equally throughout Oahu residents.

"We've heard loud and clear that reducing main breaks is important," BWS Board Chair Bryan Andaya said. "While it won't happen overnight, the revised rates and associated plans will put us solidly on that path."

"At the same time, we're taking this opportunity to give customers greater control of their water bills and be rewarded for their commitment to conservation," Andaya added.

Under the proposed increases, single family residential customers – like stand-alone households and duplexes – will see the biggest increases ranging from 16.1 percent to 21.5 percent.

[Click here to see a full slideshow of how much the rates could change.]

High rises and multi-unit customers will see smaller increases adjusted over time, while buildings with fire sprinkler systems will no longer have to pay for incidental water use, but instead pay a monthly fire meter standby fee.

"We've been working on the planning and technical evaluations to revamp the BWS rate structure for a long time," BWS Manager and Chief Engineer Ernest Lau said. "We think we've done a very thoughtful and thorough job. All of our revenue comes from our customers, so we want to hear from them whether we've got this right."

A series of public meetings around Oahu to gather community feedback will be held in the coming months.

Honolulu: Thursday, April 26, Mission Memorial Auditorium
Kapolei: Monday, May 14, Kapolei Hale, Ground Floor Conference Room
Kaneohe: Tuesday, May 15, Benjamin Parker Elementary School Cafeteria
Mililani: Thursday, May 24, Mililani Recreation Center

All meetings are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. and last until 8:30 p.m.

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.