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Minn. proposes to double water fees for top users

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota officials are proposing to essentially double the wholesale price of water for the state's largest users.

The plan by Gov. Mark Dayton and the Department of Natural Resources would increase water fees for more than 7,000 water permit holders statewide that use more than 1 million gallons annually.

That includes municipalities, but the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports it's unclear if that increase would be passed along to homeowners.

The increase would raise the cost from an average of about $7.50 per million gallons of water to $15 per million gallons.

Minnesota is facing increasing demand for groundwater while funding for water regulation has fallen. DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr says the increase won't solve the state's water sustainability issues, but it's a start.

The proposal needs legislative approval.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.