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Commercial, Institutional and Industrial Budgets and Rates

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After years of analyzing data and water use patterns, EMWD has establishing water budgets and tiered rates for additional commercial, industrial and institutional (CII) customers.

The proposed rate structure is similar to one that has been used for EMWD’s residential and landscape customers for almost a decade. Individualized water budgets, coupled with tiered rates, are an effective tool for encouraging water use efficiency.

EMWD transitioned to budget-based rates in January 2019 for the following customer classes:

  • Churches and libraries
  • Mortuaries and cemeteries
  • Office buildings
  • Schools
  • Ag-horse farms
  • Looped multi-family residential
  • Looped landscape only

Water budgets for these non-residential customers will be based on industry-standard methodology, which considers factors such as the type of business, historical average use and amount of irrigated landscaping. For example, a small office building would be expected to have lower demand than a horse farm.

  Indoor Budget Factors Outdoor Budget Factors
Church or Library Average indoor usage
(80% of average winter use)
Landscape x ET factor x Conservation factor
(if applicable)
Mortuaries/Cemeteries Average indoor usage
(80% of average winter use)
Landscape x ET factor x Conservation factor
(if applicable)
Office Buildings Average indoor usage
(80% of average winter use)
Landscape x ET factor x Conservation factor
(if applicable)
Schools 5 gallons per student per day Landscape x ET factor x Conservation factor
(if applicable)
Ag-Horse Farm+ 55 gallons per person per day Landscape x ET factor x Conservation factor
(if applicable)
Looped-MFR+ 55 gallons per person per day
(proportioned to each meter based on past usage)
Landscape x ET factor x Conservation factor
(if applicable; proportioned to each meter based on past usage)
Looped-Landscape Only N/A Landscape x ET factor x Conservation factor
(if applicable; proportioned to each meter based on past usage)

Water budgets are designed to give customers the water they need for efficient use indoors and out, and they help customers understand what is reasonable water usage. Customers who stay within their budget pay the lowest rates for water, but those who exceed it fall into the upper, more expensive price tiers.

Under the rate structure, which became effective January 2019, some additional non-residential customers will transition from a uniform water rate to a three-tiered rate system based on a water budget allocation that takes into account efficient indoor and outdoor use.

Under a tiered rate system, total water budget would be covered in Tier 1. Tier 2 and Tier 3 rates cover any usage in excess of the total budget.

Additional CII customers will be transitioned to water budgets and tiered rates over the next several years.

Please note: 

  • Non-functional* landscape areas installed before June 1, 2015 would be 70 percent of the evapotranspiration (ET) rate, the measure of irrigation needs based on rainfall, temperature and other climate factors.
  • Non-functional* landscape areas installed after June 1, 2015 would be 50 percent of the ET.
  • Functional* landscape areas would be 100 percent of the ET.

* Functional landscape areas include turf as a surface for recreation and sports fields. All other landscape areas are considered non-functional.

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