Water Billing in the Drought: What to Know


Water Billing in the Drought: What to Know

Did you know that people who are billed for the amount of water that they actually use tend to use less water?

California is entering the 4th year of a severe drought, and Governor Jerry Brown has issued a historical mandate calling for a 25% reduction in water use. Although its not yet clear how this can be enforced, the responsibility will eventually fall on local water authorities to decrease water waste. Many people reading this may not be facing a water shortage, but spreading conservation practices before they become obviously necessary will help prepare for an uncertain future amidst rising water costs, climate change, and swinging political opinions. Below are tips we recommend for each agency that ‘sells’ water.

Tips for water utilities to help save water


Install sub meters and bill for actual usage

If the customer's water bill stays the same regardless of how much the use, the temptation to waste will be greater.

Implement tiered rates to charge heavy water users more

Charge penalties for customers who use more than an allocated amount. In California, Governor Jerry Brown plans to penalize heavy water wasters up to $10,000 per day

Employ social science to influence behavior

Print the customer's consumption amount, both past and present. Making your customers aware of how much water they are using is the first step to conservation. The next step: show them if they are using more or less water than they used to.

Show each customer a comparison of their water use to their neighbors. The desire to 'fit in' will drive them to decrease waste and they may even become competitive in their conservation efforts.

Educate your customer base with water saving tips.

Make community announcements encouraging best conservation practices.
Mail flyers with recommendations along with your water bills.
Mail flyers with recommendations along with your water bills.
Harvest storm water.
Reuse water for outdoor watering.

Find a software that makes steps 1-4 easier!

MuniBilling is the perfect utility billing software for cities and companies looking for a modern and affordable solution to water billing.

Residents of California are being encouraged to let their lawns dry up.