Thursday, April 2, 2009

CCWD Board Approves 15% Drought Management Program

CCWD's Board of Directors approved a 15% Drought Management Program that will start on May 1.

CCWD's 15% Drought Management Program is designed to conserve water, without raising rates or impacting industry because of the extended three-year drought.

Those who have conserved in the past, and continue to conserve water, will not see an excess water use fee.

Everybody can save water today. CCWD expects most customers will be able to save water by improving the management of their outdoor irrigation and wise water use indoors.

Here are more details on the program.

If you have a question, please send us an email or call our CCWD Drought Help Line at (925) 688-8009.


  1. Why is this program set up in such a way as to punish those who already conserve?

    As someone who already uses 40% less water than the average residential customer (according to figures provided by calling the CCWD), I am still required to cut my usage by the same percentage as someone who wastes a tremendous amount of water each month. This regressive and punitive system ignores that fact that users who are already conserving have already taken all of the "easy", "simple", and "common sense" conservation measures. It also means that for customers who have conserved water in the past, the water ration is smaller - a clear violation of the equal protections demanded by the 14th Amendment.

    Why not simply use a progressive tiered rate system, with higher rates for usage in the upper tiers?
    For example, the first x gallons per day would be billed at the lifeline rate, allowing those who conserve water to save money. The next y gallons per day would be billed at the standard rate, which generates enough revenue to pay for the increased demand. Customers who use more than that would go to the first overage tier, and be charged more per gallon. Customers who use more than twice the y amount would be charged even more per gallon, to meet the increased costs of water purchased on the spot market, and give them a strong financial incentive to cut back on their water usage.

    This is an "off the shelf" concept - it is used by PG&E to ensure that people have a basic amount of the commodity at a reasonable rate, and charges more for those who use more.

  2. Joe,

    Thanks for writing and saving water.

    The program is somewhat complex but we believe it's closer to fair than a tiered system.

    If you use less than 1,000 gallons of water per day, you only need to use less water than you have in the past.

    CCWD sent a letter to you with two figures to help you save water. One is your historical use for each billing period in 2005, 2006 & 2007, and the other is the budget. The budget is a goal. The historical number is the amount of water you need to stay below.

    If you do everything you've done in the past, you'll be fine. Your rates will not increase. If you save even more water, you'll save money on your water bill.

    If you use more than 1000 gallons per day, you are using a lot of water. We figure most of that is in irrigating a large yard, and you can cut back your water use by 15 percent and still enjoy your yard.

    If you have an unusual occurance -- say the kids move back home -- you can file an exception form to get more water. They're available on the CCWD web page:

    Hope this helps. Please write or give me a call at 925 688-8175 if have any questions.