[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*
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
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
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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