Understanding Water Budget Based Rates

Understanding Water Budget Based Rates

Every MNWD customer has unique water needs. Typically, more water is necessary for homes with yards than those without, and businesses use water in a variety of different ways. Accordingly, MNWD provides each customer with a personalized water budget designed to meet their specific indoor and outdoor water needs. The goal of MNWD’s rate structure is to incentivize customers to use water more efficiently by rewarding efficient water use and reducing water waste. Customers who use water efficiently and stay within their water budgets pay the lowest rates. Customers who are inefficient pay more for the increased costs associated with the inefficient use of water. We all must do our part to help manage our region’s limited water resources. 

Water Budget Based Rates at a Glance

 

Designed to Meet Your Needs

Every MNWD customer receives a personalized water budget each month designed to meet their specific indoor and outdoor water needs, which means that no matter the size of your household or yard, you should be able to remain within your water budget and pay the lowest available price. Residential water budgets are calculated based on each customer’s landscaped area of their parcel, real-time localized weather data, and the number of residents in each home, among other factors. Residential water budgets vary from month-to-month based upon the weather and the number of billing days in each cycle. 

How to Calculate Your Water Budget 

Residential customers have both indoor and outdoor water budgets. The infographic below demonstrates how your water budget is calculated. To visualize how changes in your water use can affect your monthly bill, visit our interactive online bill calculator at www.mnwd.com/billcalc.

ResidentialWaterBudget

Indoor Water Budget

The indoor water budget is calculated using these three factors

  1. 60 gallons of water per person, per day
  2. The number of people in the household
  3. The number of days in the billing cycle

For more detailed information on how indoor water budgets are calculated, click here.

Outdoor Water Budget

The outdoor budget is calculated using three factors:

  1. Irrigable area per parcel
  2. Daily evapotranspiration
  3. Plant factor

 

Monthly Evapotranspiration

Evapotranspiration (ET) is the amount of water that is lost each day due to evaporation and plant transpiration. Evaporation will vary due to factors such as wind, humidity and temperature. Plant transpiration is the amount of water that plants lose from their leaves and plant tissues. The ET rate is measured every day in inches. The actual ET corresponding to your microzone is added up for each day in the billing cycle to determine the monthly ET.  There is a higher ET rate in the summer when the weather is warmer, than in the winter. MNWD measures ET using 110 virtual weather stations that can calculate precise data for 110 distinct microclimate zones within our service area. Click here for a map of the 110 microclimate zones. 

A customer may go to www.cimis.water.ca.gov to obtain referential daily ET data by going to the “Data” tab, selecting “Station 75,” and then clicking the “Run Report” button in the lower right hand corner. This is to be used as reference only for the ET on the water bill, as the ET value may not exactly match the ET for a particular microclimate zone.

Historical ET data can also be useful as an indicator for gauging how outdoor water budgets can change from month to month. The historical average monthly ET is listed below. Please note that this is only for use as a reference, and actual ET can vary based on actual weather and microzone.

HistoricalAverageETbw

 

For more detailed information on how outdoor water budgets are calculated, click here.

 Commercial Customers

Commercial water budgets are calculated based on a three-year rolling average of each commercial customer’s monthly use. If your business has landscape irrigation needs, an irrigation water budget is calculated based on the size of the landscaped area and real-time localized weather data, among other factors. If you have questions, please contact the Conservation Department at (949) 448-4025.

 

Potable Water

Outdoor water budgets for irrigation using potable water are calculated similarly to residential outdoor water budgets.

Commercial Irrigation

Recycled Water

Outdoor water budgets for recycled water accounts are calculated similarly to residential outdoor water budgets; however, the plant factor is slightly higher to accommodate more areas with turf.

RWWaterBudget

Public Spaces

Outdoor water budgets for public spaces are calculated similarly to residential outdoor water budgets; however, given that most public spaces have more areas of turf, the plant factor is higher.

PublicSpacesWaterBudget

 

Efficiency Rewarded with Low Bills

Customers whose water use remains within their water budgets are billed at the lowest available rates, and customers who exceed their water budgets are billed at higher rates for the amount of water they use above their water budget. Visit www.mnwd.com/billcalc to see how changes in your water use can affect your monthly bill.

Our Water Budget Based Rate Structure and Cost Allocations

All water rate revenue in excess of $2.51 per billing unit (BU), which is the District’s marginal cost of water, will be designated for the Water Efficiency Fund. The chart, below, depicts how funds are allocated based on usage during normal water supply conditions.

Water Efficiency Fund

The Water Efficiency Fund is a dedicated fund for the management of the District’s water resources through conservation programs and to assist the District in meeting and maintaining its water conservation goals. The program uses instruments such as rebates for water efficient appliances (such as clothes washers and toilets), rebates for turf removal, home efficiency surveys, and conservation awareness campaigns. The Water Efficiency Fund receives most of its funding through the “non‐budget tiers” (currently Tiers 3, 4 & 5) of water and recycled water rate revenue.   MNWD has determined that if every customer stayed within their water budget, the District would continue to meet its statutory obligation to meet its water conservation goals.  The Conservation and Water Use Efficiency Program costs are allocated to the non‐budget tiers because those customers who use more than what has been determined to be efficient water use (i.e., water use within their respective budget) generate the need for, and therefore the costs associated with, the water use efficiency program.  The greater the demand for water, the greater the need to expand the Conservation and Water Use Efficiency Program and incur costs related thereto.  These incremental cost increases are therefore proportionately allocated to customers who use water within Tiers 3, 4, and 5.

 

Freedom to Use Water as You Choose

Customers have the freedom to use their water budgets as they see fit. If you would rather water your lawn more and use less water elsewhere, that is acceptable, as long as your overall use remains within your personalized budget. 

Variances and Adjustments 

Every MNWD customer receives a personalized water budget each month designed to meet their specific indoor and outdoor water needs, which means that no matter the size of your household or yard, you should be able to remain within your water budget and pay the lowest available price. Residential water budgets are calculated based on each customer’s landscaped area of their parcel, real-time localized weather data, and the number of residents in each home, among other factors. Residential water budgets vary from month-to-month based upon the weather and the number of billing days in each cycle. 

We’re committed to ensuring that our customers have a customized water budget that promotes efficiency while providing the water necessary to meet their everyday needs. The Water Budget Based Rate Structure includes simple steps to adjust the water budget established for your home or business, should there be a legitimate need for more water. All you have to do is complete the Variance Request Form or call the District at (949) 831-2500 to provide some basic information, and we’ll do the rest.

Conservation

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