The water division insists the plant is needed to supplement rapidly depleting groundwater and provide a clean, safe and reliable source of water to Fresno families.
Public Utilities Director Patrick Wiemiller says the typical monthly bill is $24.49. That would double by 2017, to $48.00.
Wiemiller said, "We know it's never a good time to come to people and ask for money, but we're only doing this because it's the most financially responsible thing to do and it helps keep their rates the lowest they can be."
The plan also calls for replacing and repairing aging pipelines and bringing production water wells into compliance. That would happen when more stringent state and federal regulations take effect in the next couple of years.