Water rates increasing up to 13 percent

CNJ staff

Clovis customers of New Mexico American Water will pay up to 13 percent more for water, according to a New Mexico Public Regulation Commission spokesman.

The PRC on Tuesday OK’d the rate increase, pending a final staff review of certain cost adjustments by New Mexico American Water, the PRC’s John Arnold said.

New Mexico American Water had filed a request May 30, 2006, for an increase of 20 percent from its adjusted water service revenues for 2005.

New Mexico American Water Vice President and General Manager Kathy Wright said the amount of increase a customer sees will depend on water usage. The lowest amount of increase will be 10 percent for basic service with no usage in a month, she said.

Wright said a customer using 8,500 gallons in a month would see costs increase from $33.70 a month to $37.37 a month.

She said customers will receive a notice with their bill or a message on their bill explaining the new rates.

New Mexico American Water had requested the new rates to offset increased expenses, capital improvements and dwindling rates of return on investments in the company’s facilities, according to PRC documents.

The PRC said it based its decision on a hearing examiner’s recommendation in February.