onegulp.jpgNew York water consumers (i.e. everyone) are about to take a bath once the City's Water Board follows through with its recommendation to raise rates by 14.5%, which it was scheduled to propose Friday. The rate hike proposal comes less than a year after the most recent increase of 11.5% in 2007. To its credit, the Water Board has been cracking down on freeloaders. After the City Council nixed a proposed 18% hike, water scofflaws who ignored their bills started to have their water shut off for the first time in modern memory.

The crackdown on those who didn't pay their water bills went as far as the ability to place liens on the property of non-compliant customers. While that improved the utility's financial picture, there was a meeting Friday morning where the Water Board was expected to request yet another price increase. According to The New York Times, public hearings on any increase will be scheduled later.

With some restaurants now charging $5-$6 for a glass of filtered tap water, New Yorkers are not unaccustomed to paying through the nose when it comes to quenching their thirst.

New York City, in One Gulp!, by edEx at flickr