That’s right again! Last summer, the cost of watering my Spring Texas yard increased and I wrote a post about it titled “Are the days of cheap water gone?”. The answer to the question was Yes. The portion of my water bill identified as Regional Water Authority had increased from $0.99 to $1.50 per 1,000 gallons. An increase of 51% . Now, $0.51 doesn’t sound like a lot but considering my average water usage during the summer months is 26,000 gallons that $0.51 increase meant my monthly water bill increased by $13.26.
But that was last summer’s rate. On January 1st, 2010, the Regional Water Authority groundwater pumpage fee increasedfrom $1.50 to $1.75 per 1,000 gallons. An increase of 16%. And when my MUD converts to surface water in the early part of 2010 the Regional Water Authority fee will increase to $2.20 per 1,000 gallons. An increase of $0.70 or 47% over last summer’s rate.
Thus I can anticipate the Regional Water Authority portion of my water bill to be $57.20 this summer instead of the $39.00 in the summer of 2009. In addition to the Regional Water Authority charge on my water bill, there is a charge for water, sewer, and Texas Comm Environ Quality.
Unfortunately there is absolutely nothing I can do about the rate increase. As the reason for the rate increase is to pay for the infrastructure constructed by the North Harris County Regional Water Authority (NHCRA). The NHCRA was created to comply with mandates to reduce our dependence on groundwater. Thus the NHCRA laid infrastructure to connect our MUDs with Lake Houston for a source of surface water.
We have just reached the first mandated deadline of January 1, 2010 that requires 30% of our water to come from surface water. In 2020, 70% of of water is mandated to come from surface water and by 2030 the surface water requirement increases to 80%.
Since the days of cheap water will soon become a distant memory, it’s time we all begin implementing ways to conserve water. Here’s a good list of 100 ways to conserve water to get you thinking.