All District water utilities should be implementing at least a 3-tiered rate structure. The following guidelines are provided for setting effective conservation rates.
Commercial, multi-family, institutional and industrial categories should be analyzed to determine the best approach to encourage conservation. At a minimum, a uniform rate structure should apply.
At a minimum, the rate for irrigation use should be equal to or greater than 200% of the first tier rate. Discouraging irrigation meters through high fees for irrigation meters purchase and/or installation is also encouraged.
Conservation pricing is a system in which the price you pay for water depends on how much water you use. The more water used, the higher the price. The goal of conservation pricing is to reduce excessive discretionary water use, especially outdoor irrigation, by making water use increasingly more expensive. Conservation pricing encourages smart water use and protects the region's water resources.
Increased population, droughts, lack of groundwater, degradation of water quality and competition among water users have made water a more precious resource than ever. Pricing is a powerful means of signaling the importance and scarcity of water to users, most of whom experience little connection between the amount of water they use and their total bill.
By applying conservation pricing, we can more clearly communicate the real value of water. Water withdrawals from our watersheds have large “unpriced” external effects, such as biological degradation and water quantity depletion. Conservation pricing reduces demand and reduces the ecological costs of water use to society.