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(Smithfield-AP) -- The city of Smithfield in northern Utah has decided to raise its water rates, joining a number of Utah communities that are attempting to encourage conservation amid the ongoing drought.
For Smithfield it's the first increase in water rates since 1997.
The basic water rate that everyone pays is going up by a buck. But those who use a lot of water will pay even more. The rate is increasing to 70 cents per thousand gallons for people who use more than 20-thousand gallons per month.
City officials say the new fees are fair, and by conserving water, people can control the size of their water bills.
Salt Lake City recently implemented a water rate hike with a similar fee structure.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)