Palm Springs, Calif. -

Desert Water Agency customers will soon be seeing a slight increase in their water bills beginning in July.

On Tuesday, the Desert Water Agency's Board of Directors approved a rate increase for use in the draft budgets, which would help the Agency cover the increased costs of maintaining and delivering safe, high-quality water supplies.

The rate adjustment was approved May 20. The draft budget will be reviewed June 3 and brought forward for approval June 17.

"DWA's top priority is to protect our customers, ensure reasonable rates and provide a reliable, high quality water supply," said Board President Craig Ewing. "Ratepayers' money is invested prudently to ensure a reliable water supply for now and into the future. Prior to implementing any rate adjustments, the Agency is continually on the look-out for cost reductions so that any increase in rates would be as minimal as possible."

The 2014 rate adjustment would be the final phase of a three-phase incremental rate adjustment that was previously approved in 2010. The first two phases took place in 2010 and 2012. If approved, the final incremental increase will become effective on July 1, 2014.

“DWA’s rates are determined solely by the costs of delivering service—as operating costs go up, so must rates," says Katie Ruark, Desert Water Agency Public Information Officer.  "This rate increase is nearly 20% but it translates to $0.00037 per gallon.”

In a press release by the DWA, they state the reason rates are increased is because of rising operating costs such as, increased electrical costs, material costs, additional water testing and treatment, and State Water Project contract charges.  They also state that DWA's rates are some of the lowest in the region.

Customers will be notified of the adjustment through a bill insert. More information on the latest rate change is available at Www.dwa.org/rate-adjustment