EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Public Service Board has approved El Paso Water’s Fiscal Year 2023-24 Water/Wastewater and Stormwater budgets to boost reliability and water supply.

This means that customers will see a $9.03 increase per month on the typical residential bill for water, wastewater and stormwater charges. The budget, rates, and fees will go into effect at the start of the fiscal year, which begins on March 1.

According to EPWater, the largest single proposed investment centers on the 31-year-old Bustamante Plant, which treats 39 million gallons a day but must be expanded to 51 million gallons a day. The estimated costs over five years will total to $730 million.

EPWater will advance three new water supply projects in 2023:

  • Construction for the expansion of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant
  • Construction of the first phase of the Aquifer Storage and Recharge project
  • Advanced Water Purification Facility kickoff

EPWater adds that recent customer feedback is reflected in the utility’s funding priorities which are the following:

  • Reliability – $428 million: Water and wastewater pipes, tanks, plants and pump stations are overdue for replacement and rehabilitation.
  • Water supply – $53 million: Well rehab and new well construction are included, as well as the Aquifer Storage and Recovery Project in northeast El Paso.
  • Flood control – $70 million: Projects focus on new ponds and improvements to existing ponds and pipes.

EPWater also urges customers to increase conservation efforts to offset the impact of increased rate. The PSB also approved the following:

  • The Water Supply Replacement Charge will be waived for customers using less than 4 CCFs monthly. An estimated 48,000 low-water users may be eligible for an updated waiver of $14 a month.
  • The utility is increasing water volume for the minimum monthly charge from 4 CCFs (2,990 gallons) to 5 CCFs (3,740 gallons), which amounts to an estimated 18,000 customers who may save $6 a month.