Water metering officially starts tomorrow, Maderans, and in 30 days, some of us no doubt will be in for a shock.
After months of installation and testing, the city meters will put Madera into compliance with state regulations for water conservation. For those who think the city is going to be metering just to get more money out of its ratepayers, you’re wrong. The city had no choice. Had it not adopted metering, Madera could have been subject to paying big state fines.
Some residents will be pleasantly surprised to find their water bills going down, because they already will have been thrifty water users. Their flat-rate bills reflected an average water use based on lot size. If their use has been below average, they will begin to pay less as long as their usage stays the same or goes down.
Those who have been watering the streets, sidewalks and gutters instead of their shrubs and lawns may be in for a blow to their checkbooks. They may have to do a better job of aiming and timing their sprinkling systems.
Some people continue watering their yards when it’s raining, and those people are likely to break that habit.
The experts tell us that in our neck of the woods, most household water use goes toward landscape irrigation, and most of that is to keep lawns looking green. Shrubs take water, too, but tend to be less thirsty-looking than grass when it gets hot and dry. Those who landscape mostly with shrubs wind up using less water for irrigation.
Indoor use of water increases with the size of the family, obviously. If you have a household of more than four, and you all take half-hour showers every day, get ready to pay more.
Surprisingly, hot tubs and swimming pools aren’t necessarily water hogs once they’re filled, and if they don’t leak.