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.


For background information on the 2018 and 2019, please click here.


Individualized Water Budgets
  • The current formula uses 55 gallons per person, per day, which is based on efficiency standards set by state law.
  • Water budgets for homes are as follows:
    • Budgets for homes connected prior to December 31, 2010 receive 80 percent of the evapotranspiration rate - the measure of irrigation needs based on rainfall, temperature, and other climate factors.
    • Homes connected between Jan. 1, 2011, to May 31, 2015, receive 70 percent of the evapotranspiration rate - the measure of irrigation needs based on rainfall, temperature, and other climate factors.
    • Homes connected on or after June 1, 2015, receive 50 percent of the evapotranspiration rate - the measure of irrigation needs based on rainfall, temperature, and other climate factors.

    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. Pools and spas are included in the irrigated area square footage.


How Tiered Rates Work

    As of 1/1/18, residential customers will continue to receive water budgets based on household and landscape size, but these budgets will no longer align with a specific rate. Instead, the amount of water billed at each tier will be based on the availability of specific water supply sources – groundwater, treated groundwater and more expensive imported supplies.

    • All residential customers will be billed at the “Tier 1 – Low Volume” rate for the first 20 percent of their monthly water budget as that is the proportional amount of local, lowest-cost supplies available.
    • The remaining portion of the water budget will be billed at the “Tier 2 – Budgeted rate” for budgeted supplies.
    • Tier 3 and 4 rates cover any usage in excess of the total budget.

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