Water Budgets & Tiered Rates

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Water budgets are designed to give customers the water they need for both indoor and outdoor uses, specific to the household size and landscape area. Tiered water rates reward customers who use water efficiently and discourage water waste.

All residential and landscape customers are on a water budget-based tiered rate structure.

To review proposed changes to water budgets for 2018 and 2019, please click here.

Water budgets are based on the following factors:

  • The number of residents in the household, each using 60 gallons per day. The default single family residential household budget is based on 3 residents, and multifamily residential is 2 residents. Household sizes may be customized through EMWD’s variance process.
  • The amount of water required to maintain a property's irrigated area as if there was turf grass in that area. The number of billing units will vary every month depending on daily weather information gathered throughout the District’s service area. Therefore, customers will receive more water in the summer than in the winter. Each customer’s estimated irrigated area is listed on their billing statement. Irrigated areas may be customized through EMWD’s variance process. Customers with pools, spas, and/or ponds may note that the evaporation rate is approximately equal to the amount of water that turf grass requires, so it is already accounted for in water budgets.

Excessive Use - If a customer exceeds their total water budget, billing units will be charged at the Excessive rate. The maximum number of billing units in this level is equal to one-half the total water budget. For example, if the total water budget was 18 billing units, then the maximum billing units that can be used and charged at the Excessive rate would be 9 billing units.

Wasteful Use - If a customer exceeds the maximum number of billing units in the Excessive tier, all remaining billing units will then be charged at the Wasteful rate. For example, if the total water budget is 18 billing units, the Excessive level is 9 billing units, and a customer uses 36 total billing units, then 9 units would fall into the Wasteful level.

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