Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District
Setting Water Budgets
EVMWD implemented a five-tier BBR structure for residential customers in 2009, where Tier 1 was the indoor budget and Tier 2 was the outdoor budget. Therefore, customer usage within Tiers 1 and 2 was considered to be within the water budget, or the amount of water allocated to the customer. In order to determine the persons per household (PPH) allowance for the indoor budget, U.S. Census data for EVMWD’s service area was reviewed. To ensure rates that were equitable and fair to the customers, the indoor allocation implemented was set higher than the Census data at 4 PPH. For the outdoor budget, in order to simplify the process, EVMWD utilized a ten year historical average ET, and added a seasonality factor for summer and winter in order to have consistency in water budgets on a monthly basis. Additionally, to determine irrigated area, actual water usage was analyzed relative to the size of the parcel, parcels were grouped into five classes, and the irrigated area was determined to be 60% of the parcel size. Furthermore, EVMWD utilized a water adjustment factor of 0.6, allowing for sufficient watering for a combination of lawn, shrubs, and trees.
EVMWD modified its BBR structure in July 2015 and reduced the per person allocation from 60 to 55 gallons. Additionally, the five tier structure was modified to a four tier structure. Implementation of the BBR structure has been very successful in reducing water usage (as discussed in Benefits of Budget-Based Rates » and decreasing water waste. To achieve successful implementation, it is imperative that customers understand their daily water consumption and the effects of water conservation on daily usage. It is also very important to have sufficient staff to be able to provide answers to customer calls on a timely basis. Longer wait times add to customer apprehension at a time when frustration levels are already heightened. Additionally, it is just as important to ensure that the staff is fully versed in the rate structure being implemented. EVMWD’s specific outreach experience is discussed in Customer Outreach, Support, and Service »