Pressure Irrigation Meters: Q&A

Q: Why meter the system at all?

A: The primary reason is fairness. Currently, we bill according to the size of the lot. For instance, a lot of .33 acres is billed at one rate, but a lot of .34 acres falls into the next rate category and pays 50% more. Their water use is probably very similar, so the billing is not fair. With meters, each lot owner will pay for the amount of water used.

A strong secondary reason is to encourage water conservation. With meters, our customers will be encouraged to use water wisely because it will save them money.

Q: When will the meters be installed?

A: We already have meters installed on 34 commercial accounts. We plan to install 100 meters for residential customers this year on various sizes of lots. We plan to have meters installed for all our pressure irrigation customers within five years.

Q: When will I get my first bill?

A: We will begin billing according to metered use in 2014. The first two bills will be informational only, so customers can note their usage and fix leaks or begin conservation measures if they wish.

Q: What will this do to my PI bill?

A: One change you’ll notice is that your bills will vary from month to month as usage changes, where currently you’re billed at a flat rate. We will offer bill averaging as we do with the culinary system so you can budget more effectively.

Q: Who pays to install the meters?

A: To minimize expenses to the company and our stockholders, we have applied for matching grants. For this year’s meter installations we have a grant from the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District. We have applied for a grant from the Bureau of Reclamation to help defray expenses for further meter installations. These government agencies underwrite efforts like this to encourage water conservation.