Moulton Niguel Water District
Importance of Effective Communication
It is important to proactively identify and address general concerns of important stakeholders, including the Board of Directors, City Councils, and the CPUC, if applicable. Two primary common concerns are: customer reactions to water budgets and the equity of the budgets. A valid concern for any water provider contemplating a change to BBRs is how the customers will react to receiving a water allocation.
The importance of customer communication and outreach cannot be stressed enough, especially in the area of education. MNWD extensively discussed the conversion with the Citizens’ Advisory Committee (an active group of customers who the District meets with on a quarterly basis in a special Board meeting), educating them on the new rate structure, providing them with shadow bills, and then enlisting their support as representatives in the community.
District management attended city council meetings and presented MNWD’s plan to use a BBR structure. MNWD highlighted the benefits of the rate structure, including water conservation and empowerment of the customer to manage their own water use instead of mandated watering days. Upper tiers with significantly higher rates would replace fines for inefficient use. Questions and concerns regarding the equity of the water budgets were also addressed. Water budgets are personalized for each account, making them inherently fair and equitable for all customers.