- Associated Press - Thursday, May 22, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Albuquerque-area residents will be paying more for their water.

The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Authority Board on Wednesday approved an increase that will have customers paying about $3 more per month.

That represents a 5 percent rate hike and will increase the average residential customer’s water bill to just $41.

The new rates take effect July 1 and will appear on August bills.

Similar increases are planned in another year and two years after that.

Water officials say the rate increase is needed to pay for replacing aging infrastructure, including a sewage-treatment plan originally completed in the early 1960s.

Utility officials also say they need to compensate for a 9 percent drop in water consumption by customers.

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