Monday, 21 December 2009 23:28

Amador Water Agency Eyes Tiers in Amador Water System Rates

slide4-awa_eyes_tiers_in_amador_water_system_rates.pngAmador County – The Amador Water Agency closed the book on 2009 with approval of a study to look at tiered water rates in the Amador Water System, which they say would encouraged conservation and base rates more on actual use. The board approved a $34,950 study by regular AWA consultant Bob Reed and The Reed Group to “as part of a regular periodic financial plan and water rate study.” Reed look at the Amador Water System see how tiered water rates could help the AWA “meet water conservation goals.” A tiered water rate schedule is one of the state’s mandated “best management practices” that “gives a financial incentive for the biggest water users to cut back,” AWA Interim General Manager Gene Mancebo said in a release last week. The “study will also consider the option” of “agricultural rates” for current raw water customers if a treated water pipeline replaces the Amador Canal. The study also may look at the “impact of consolidating the 60-customer La Mel Heights water system into the AWS.” Reed “will make study recommendations at a board workshop to be scheduled in February, 2010,” Mancebo said. The last financial plan and water rate study for the Amador Water System was prepared in 2007. District 5 Director Terence Moore said after the meeting December 10th that the AWS study “may lead to a rate increase or adjustment.” He said the tiered rates will look at conservation rates based on water usage. Currently, the AWA has a “service charge,” then has a “commodity rate” based on what the customer uses. Moore said the service charge is too high, and people can greatly reduce their water usage and still not see much of a change in what they pay. The study would “look at substantially lowering the service charge and raising usage rates,” then as a customer, if people “don’t use as much water,” they can have a way of reducing their bills. Moore said more emphasis in billing on usage is already in place in the Central Amador Water Project district, and in the Camanche groundwater system. He said if the AWA board does implement that type of system in the Amador Water System, they must have the study by Reed to support it.” Also in its last meeting of 2009, the AWA set a public information session in the Upcountry regarding the Gravity Supply Line, and proposed improvements in the Central Amador Water Project. The meeting is 6:30 p.m. Thursday, January 6th, at the AWA office on Ridge Road. Story by Jim Reece This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.