Increa$ing Water Bill
As temperatures warm and landscape water demands increase, homeowners may start to notice the effect of Cedar City water rate increase that began last February. According to the Mayor’s January , 2013 Newsletter, the average residential customer could see an overall increase in their bill of about $11 per month if water usage stays the same. However, with a 12% decrease in usage, the monthly increase would only be about $8 per month.
Keeping up with the costs related to operating and maintaining our water system and the cost of future improvements are the driving forces behind the rate increase. The city also hopes the increase will promote water conservation, thereby helping to preserve the water table in the valley aquifer, which is currently being over pumped by about 4,000 acre-feet, or 1.3 billion gallons per year. The majority of this water is being used outdoors, providing us an opportunity to conserve. Currently, residents use about 1 million gallons per day in the winter, and about 13 million gallons per day in the summer. That increase appears to come directly from outdoor water use.
Fortunately, water conservation doesn’t mean settling for a barren or lawn less design. Simple adjustment to existing landscapes can improve water efficiency. Around 50% of the water applied to the landscape is wasted, due to inefficient practices, including: poor plant selection, overwatering, leaks, and inefficient irrigation designs. Appropriate watering schedules, proper plant selection and taking advantage of the latest irrigation technology all help save water.
For more water saving tips, a list of water conservation classes offered in Iron County, or to schedule a FREE Water Check visit: extension.usu.edu/ironmg or slowtheflow.org
Horticulture/Water-Wise Landscape Educator
USU Extension/Central Iron County Water Conservancy District