“Rising conservation has contributed to revenue volatility,” said Rusty Cobern, budget and finance manager for the Austin Water Utility. “We would have expected a revenue windfall during the [recent] drought. Aggressive conservation pricing model can eliminate windfall opportunities.”
“Water agencies have a disincentive to conservation because if customers cut use, it cuts sales,” Cooley told Circle of Blue.
In essence, water utilities make money selling water. And since selling less water decreases revenue, utilities develop a perverse incentive that welcomes dry periods because people will use more water on their lawns and generate more income for the utility.”
read more: Circle of Blue