Drought surcharges (September 7, 2015)

One common refrain is that Apple Valley Ranchos’ drought surcharge appears designed to generate revenue regardless of how much users conserve water.

This is incorrect on three counts.

First, if you lower your water usage to less than the drought threshold (currently 16 units per month, or 32 units per billing period), there are no drought surcharges. This is not a percentage calculation, it is an absolute measure of usage. Although the goal is for Apple Valley residents overall to use 28 percent less than in 2013, the mechanism for achieving that goal is for each resident to reduce water usage to fewer than 32 units per billing period — which works out to about 23,000 gallons.

Second, the drought surcharges are mandated by the State (Jerry Brown), not Ranchos.

Third, Ranchos is not getting any additional revenues from the drought surcharges. All the money from those surcharges is being tracked and will either eliminate future surcharges or, if any money is left over, be refunded to customers.

So if you are seeing a drought surcharge on your water bill, you are using too much water, and the State of California is penalizing you, not Ranchos.

Greg Raven is Co-Chair of Apple Valley Citizens for Government Accountability, and is concerned about quality of life issues.