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In order to reliably meet water demand of the service area, MNWD has implemented a budget-based rate structure and Water Shortage Contingency Plan. The District has proactively addressed water challenges by managing supply and demand, preparing for potential water shortages, and fostering increased water conservation.
What Stage Are We In?
Due to prevailing conditions in the State, and the Governor’s declaration of the end of the statewide drought emergency on April 7, 2017, the MNWD Board of Directors adopted a resolution on April 20, 2017, which rescinded the Water Shortage Contingency Plan – Stage 1, which was previously in effect since March 1, 2017. Effective April 20, 2017, MNWD is no longer in any stage of its WSCP. We encourage all customers to stay within their water budgets and continue to use water efficiently.
What is the Water Shortage Contingency Plan?
As required by state law, MNWD has adopted a Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP) to manage supply and demand during times of drought and address the need for long-term water use efficiency. The contingency plan uses a five-stage, phased approach to ease customers into increased levels of water use efficiency based on the availability of water supplies. Each stage requires heightened levels of water conservation. MNWD’s elected Board of Directors is responsible for evaluating the severity of supply shortages and, in the event of worsened or improved conditions, may vote to increase water use reductions to preserve water supplies for the health and safety of our community.
During the first stage of the WSCP, customers will be asked to voluntarily reduce water use, and the District will encourage everyone to remain within their allocated water budget. If water shortages and usage levels require MNWD to implement Stage 2 of the WSCP, customers will be required to stay within their calculated water budget or pay penalties for water used in excess of the budget. If increased stages must be implemented, the District will incrementally decrease the amount of water customers are allowed to use: in Stage 3, outdoor water budgets will be reduced by 40 percent; in Stage 4, outdoor water budgets will be reduced by 70 percent; and, if Stage 5 becomes necessary in the event demand becomes inconsistent with drought conditions or water supply challenges, residential and commercial customers will not be permitted to utilize any potable water outdoors. In Stage 2 and beyond, customers will face substantially increased rates resulting in a charge of $9.28 per centum cubic foot (ccf), or billing unit (BU) if allocated budgets are exceeded.
What should I do?
MNWD is urging customers to stay within their water budgets at all times, and reminds its customers to reduce water waste and follow these best water management practices:
- Install water conservation devices
- Limit watering hours and duration
- No watering during rainfall or for at least 48 hours after rainfall
- Remove turf and plant a drought-tolerant garden
- Eliminate excessive water flow or runoff
- Do not wash down hard or paved surfaces
- Fix leaks, breaks, or malfunctions immediately
- Recirculate water for water fountains and decorative water features
- Visit a commercial car wash facility that recirculates its water
- Serve drinking water only upon request at restaurants
- Provide customers with the option to not have linen laundered daily at commercial lodging establishments
MNWD continues to offer water efficiency programs, including turf removal rebates, free home surveys, irrigation controller rebates, and more. For more information on MNWD’s conservation programs and resources, please visit http://www.mnwd.com/rebates/.