There were more than 200 formal protests filed against this rate increase and many people showed up at EBMUD headquarters to voice their concerns directly to the board. But in the end, the rates will go up in a matter of weeks.
The board approved a 9.75 percent rate hike for water users for fiscal year 2014 and 9.5 percent increase for fiscal 2015. EBMUD's rate hikes over five years will total 35 percent.
EBMUD says it needs the money to replace revenues lost to decreased water usage during the drought. The district says it also needs to replace and maintain its aging infrastructure, including many pipes that are more than 50 years old.