Water Deeply

How One Water Agency Thrived During California’s Drought

Leaders from Moulton Niguel Water District in Southern California explain how they used a combination of tools, including data analysis, budget-based rates and communication changes, to successfully weather the drought.
Written by Tara Lohan Published on

NOW THAT CALIFORNIA has come through the worst of its recent five-year drought, it’s time to take stock of what went wrong and right. Moulton Niguel Water District, which serves 170,000 people in Orange County with water, wastewater and recycled water services, insists it didn’t just survive the drought, but thrived.

The district saw per capita water use fall and saw an improvement in the water efficiency of its customers. Moulton Niguel changed its outreach strategy to use more electronic communication with customers and is now piloting a program that allows customers to monitor their usage through a mobile app.

But one of the most helpful things was a budget-based rate structure put in place in 2011 that promoted efficiency and reinvested the money generated by customers’ inefficient water use back into the community to foster more water efficiency programs.

To find out more about what the district did, Water Deeply talked to Joone Lopez, Moulton Niguel Water District’s general manager, and Drew Atwater, director of planning.

Read the entire piece at Water Deeply.