Tag Archive for 'water metering'

California Drought: State’s Flawed Water System Can’t Track Usage

Retrieved from: Motherjones.com

“SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Call them the fortunate ones: Nearly 4,000 California companies, farms and others are allowed to use free water with little oversight when the state is so bone dry that deliveries to nearly everyone else have been severely slashed.

“Their special status dates back to claims made more than a century ago when water was plentiful. But in the third year of a drought that has ravaged California, these “senior rights holders” dominated by corporations and agricultural concerns are not obliged to conserve water.

“Nobody knows how much water they actually use, though it amounts to trillions of gallons each year, according to a review of their own reports by The Associated Press. Together, they hold more than half the rights to rivers and streams in California.

“The AP found the state’s system is based on self-reported, incomplete records riddled with errors and years out of date; some appear to be using far less water than records would indicate.”

Read more: Huffington Post


U.S. Urban Residents Cut Water Usage; Utilities are Forced to Raise Prices

Las Vegas, Nevada

“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

The Price for Building a Home in this Town: $300,000 Water Meter

“BOLINAS, Calif. — Marc Dwaileebe would like to build a house for his family on land he owns in this bucolic town just 20 miles north of San Francisco. But he cannot hook up to the water main that runs right past his property unless he has a water meter. And a water meter, in Bolinas, could cost more than $300,000.

“That is the minimum bid for a meter being auctioned off through Friday. The auction is the unlikely result of a water meter moratorium imposed by antidevelopment forces here in 1971.

“For most of the last 39 years, “the only way a water meter came free was when a house burnt down, or fell off a cliff,” said Barbara Rothwell, a longtime Bolinas resident.”

read more: New York Times