[env-trinity] Fresno water use finally getting metered

Mark Dowdle - TCRCD mdowdle at tcrcd.net
Tue Jul 13 10:19:07 PDT 2010

*(I daresay there are some who are probably calling this a "new tax.")


It has long been time for Fresno water meters*

*Fresno Bee-7/13/10*


* *

It hasn't been easy, but Fresno is on the verge of charging residents 
for the water they actually use each month. Workers begin installing the 
first of more than 100,000 residential water meters in the city on 
Monday, although metered water bills won't begin arriving at homes for 
several months.


At a time when this region doesn't have enough water to meet all its 
needs, it's just plain silly to have city residents being able to use 
all the water they want and only pay a flat rate for the privilege. But 
good sense on water usage has been hard to come by in Fresno.


We have supported water meters because they will help the city conserve 
water and residents will only pay for the water they use. The current 
system rewards water wasters and penalizes those who only use the water 
they need.


Fresno has found many reasons to avoid water meters, but finally there's 
leadership in place pushing meters.


If it had been left to residents, water meters wouldn't have a chance. 
Fresno voters had even blocked meters through a City Charter amendment. 
But state and federal laws finally pushed the city toward meters.


If there are no other roadblocks, single-family residences in Fresno 
will have operating water meters within 30 months. Many will be paying 
for metered water before then.


Residential customers receive a utility bill every two months, which 
includes the flat-rate charge for water based on lot size.


The city will be going to a monthly billing system, although that's 
causing some bureaucratic headaches in the billing division. The new 
bills will continue to include sewer and garbage fees.


There will be a transition period once you get on water meters. For two 
months, residential customers will get a flat-rate charge, which they 
must pay, and a metered bill showing what they would have been charged 
for their actual usage.


It's been a slow march toward water meters in Fresno, and that's been 


But with the state facing a long-term water crisis, Fresno couldn't 
continue to justify a flat-rate water system.#




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