Water Budgets are the fairest way for water providers to both encourage conservation and charge objective rates to their water conserving customers and higher rates to their overuses. In brief, a unique water budget is established for every home based upon several factors: the size of the overall property minus the size of the home; the number of residents at the property and the weather during the billing period.
Homes with more residents are budgeted for more water, which is only fair. Homes with larger outdoor spaces are also allocated more water.
Unfortunately, some districts still use outdated methods to set the rates and conservation goals for their customers. The most common approach is to establish a baseline for your conservation from your specific water-use history. This might be the same billing cycle the prior year or it might be an average of a few prior years. Either way this approach often creates a very unfair result. If you have been conserving water for the past several years, you would be asked to reduce your water use by the same percent as a neighbor who might have been taking 30-minute showers and watering their driveway. It is not fair and punishes the water conserving homeowner.
Sometimes a water provider will arbitrarily set water use rates based solely on a random volume of water for every home, regardless of size, residents, weather, or any other factor. That is even worse.
Another big reason well-calculated water budgets work is that it leaves the details of how to conserve water up to the homeowner. If a household is efficient with their showers, laundry, dishwashing, etc. and wants to invest those water savings in some pots of pretty flowers, that should be the homeowner’s decision, not the water providers. It makes no sense for a water provider to mandate how we conserve water, but all too often mandates get rolled out that only target garden irrigations.
We support water budgets. They are fair.
The Irvine Ranch Water District, which provides water to the City of Irvine and several neighboring communities, is a statewide leader in using water-budgets as an effective and equitable water conservation tool.
If you are within IRWD’s service area you are already familiar with this very fair approach to water conservation and water rates. If not, look at how their water budget works.
|<<<||Lawn oceans and grassy parkways should be removed||Water recapture and recycling is our future||>>>|