San Diego County Water Authority headquarters
San Diego County Water authority headquarters in Kearny Mesa. Courtesy of the authority

The San Diego County Water Authority said Thursday it has adopted a $1.7 billion budget for the next two fiscal years that will keep its spending steady compared with the current budget.

What the agency calls the “all-in” water rate – which is what it charges customers like the city of San Diego – will rise by 3.6% for treated water and 3.3% for untreated water beginning in January.

The water authority said the increases reflect several factors, including rate hikes by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the cost of past repairs and rising prices for energy, chemicals and construction materials.

The city of San Diego buys about 90% of the water it provides to residents and businesses from the county water authority.

The city said Wednesday that they are proposing a 2% rate hike to customers, also starting in January.

`I’m proud of this budget and rates package in an era of unprecedented challenges,” Water Authority Board Chair Gary Croucher said in a statement the agency released Thursday.

“We have contained costs while benefiting from strategic investments in water supply reliability that protect the region’s $253 billion economy and 3.3 million residents from statewide drought conditions.”

In 2022, the Water Authority will charge its 24 member agencies an all-in rate of $1,523 per acre foot for untreated water, or $49 more per acre foot than they currently pay.

The charge would be $1,833 per acre foot for treated water, $64 more per acre foot than in 2021. An acre foot is about 325,900 gallons.

The budget eliminates seven staff positions, along with reducing spending on outside services and minimizing travel.