You were asked by the City of Corpus Christi to conserve water because of shrinking lake levels, and now the City is proposing to raise utility bills by almost 19-percent. The reason? Because people have not been using as much water.

It's a change that will certainly affect the average homeowner. For instance, Mr. Longoria, a local senior citizen, will be paying an extra $100 a year on his water bill if the rate increase passes.

A presentation was made during Tuesday's City Council meeting to explain the proposed rate increase -- an increase of 18.8-percent. The reason given for the increase is that, because of water conservation, people are using less water and in return, the Water Department has less money coming in.

Another reason given was phase two of the Mary Rhodes Pipeline.

"I find it ironic you tell us not to use the water because we have to have water conservation. It hasn't rained in a long time, but then on top of that, you want us to pay for the water we are not using," said Susie Luna Saldana. "You want to up the utilities. Ladies and gentleman, you are pricing us out of the market."

The rate increase would also affect wastewater fees, which would go up by 9.5-percent, costing an average of $4.45. Natural gas fees would also increase by about an average of $1.08.

The rate increase still needs to be voted on with the city budget by the end of September. If approved, the new rates would go into effect in October.