FREMONT -- Starting this week, the Tri-City-area's heaviest water users will pay more.
The Alameda County Water District has adopted a surcharge on bills customers pay every other month to fill a $15 million budget gap that agency leaders blame on the drought.
Residents of single-family homes now will fall into one of three separate rate structures for each two-month billing cycle based on a water unit of 748 gallons:
A flat surcharge of 46 cents, regardless of water use, will be applied to residents in apartments and other multifamily residences, businesses, schools and government agencies.
The water district's board of directors approved the drought surcharge last Thursday.
It took effect Monday, agency spokesman Frank Jahn said.
Contact Chris De Benedetti at 510-353-7011. Follow him at Twitter.com/cdebenedetti.