As if the prices of every single thing in Hawaii were not already high enough, now we are going to have to pay even more for our water use. The Hawaii Board of Water Supply has officially approved a 70 percent increase in water rates that will take place through the next five fiscal years.
This is almost a 10 percent increase each year, for five years! The first rate hike is expected to add just under $7.00 to the average water bill for a typical Oahu residence.
The board’s decision means that rates will rise 9.65 percent every year starting in mid-2012, when charges will increase to $3.06 from $2.79 for every 1,000 gallons of water. The current average bill of $39.19 will climb $27.53 to $66.72 with the last increase in July 2015, the beginning of the city’s 2016 fiscal year.
Many people are only now finding out about the new rate hikes that are in place. Needless to say, they are not pleased. Aiea resident Shannon Recaido was not pleased with the prospect of a higher water bill for her single-family home.
“It’s already so expensive to live in Hawaii,” she said. “It all adds up. So I’m not too happy about it.”
This is the sentiment echoed throughout Hawaii from most everyone. The water price hikes only add to the struggle of living in Hawaii. Hawaii is a beautiful place, and even in my own opinion there is no better place to live. However, we pay such a high-price to live Hawaii, rate hikes like these on things like water make you really sit back and think. Is Hawaii still the place for me?
What is the most ironic thing about this whole situation? The water rate increases over the next five years are mainly because people in Hawaii have been good about saving their money, and being smarter about their purchases.
According to acting board manager Dean Nakano, “better conservation efforts, ironically, have increased the pressure to raise rates.” I guess higher water rates will fit nicely with higher electric rates.
“As people save money it does reduce our revenue stream,” Nakano said. “But it doesn’t take away from the fact that we need to sustain our operations and find the means in which to fund appropriately what it takes for operations and maintenance.”
So right now Hawaii is looking at a huge increase in prices for using water. It doesn’t make sense. People in Hawaii are trying to get by, yet by being smart with their money, they are now force to pay out more. Where is the logic in that?