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Byline: John Hill TRIBUNE REPORTER
For years, Albuquerque has enjoyed the lowest water rates in New Mexico and some of the lowest in the Southwest.
But the city is now contemplating a series of water-rate increases that could almost double water and sewer bills by the year 2005.
The city Public Works Department has outlined a series of possible water- and sewer-rate increases that could raise monthly bills by 45.4 percent in the next five years. The main purpose is to help reduce what the city's water utility pays in interest on bonds.
Those rate increases are contingent on a variety of factors, officials say, and represent a worst-case scenario.
But on top of those increases, the City Council has also approved a schedule of rate increases for seven years to pay for taking drinking water from the Rio …