ABILENE, TX- Mayor Norm Archibald proposed a plan Monday that will increase water and sewer rates as a way to help conserve water. "We can't afford to stand idle and believe that we will just wait for the next big rain," Mayor Archibald said. According to reports, Forth Phantom Lake is 12 feet below the spillway and Lake Hubbard is 21 feet below. The plan consists of three projects that will cost up to $85 million. Up to $74 million of the total will go towards improving the Hamby Wastewater Treatment Plant where the treated wastewater will be sent into Lake For Phantom Hill. The goal is to put seven million gallons a day back to the lake. "This process of recycling water for human consumption is happening all over the country," adds Mayor Archibald. "It's the best stewardship of our natural resources that is possible." In addition, the city will use approximately $7 million to improve the Hargesheimer Water Treatment Plant and major water distribution mains and create a system that will release water stored in Lake Kirby down to Cedar Creek. So how much will all this cost? Water rates in Abilene is $37.75 for 5,000 gallons water and sewer. Expect to see a change in November's bill because the rate will go up to $43.50. The rates will go up in the next year and a half, which will eventually reach $46. According to Mayor Archibald, Abilene has one of the lowest rates in cities of over 100,000 people. He compared rates to ten other Texas cities such as Midland, San Angelo, and Lubbock and states that Abilene falls in the second lowest. "It has everything to do with our ability to provide our citizens with good treated drinking water that people have come to expect every day," Mayor Archibald said. The city will also apply for a permit November that will allow the city to build a dam that will hold water in the Cedar Ridge Reservoir.