Water conservation

Monitoring water use best plan for conservation – Marin Independent Journal

The move to Marin Municipal Water District’s monthly billing could be one of the most effective ways to help its customers meet their vital responsibility to reduce their water use.

As of June 24, MMWD’s commercial, residential and institutional customers had reduced their water use by 19.5% compared to last year’s figures.

This is only halfway through the 40% district-wide reduction ordered by the MMWD.

Getting there won’t be easy or painless, but it is vital as the drought has left MMWD reservoirs at low levels that have not been seen in years. Many of us have already installed the easiest conservation measures.

Drought – and the worry we live in for a prolonged drought – means we need to do more to preserve the water supply we depend on.

Keeping track of your progress towards the 40% MMWD goal seems the best way to continue the efforts of households and businesses.

MMWD provides district-wide weekly reports to its clients, but if each client had a better idea of ​​what they are doing, it would make a difference.

MMWD’s current two-month billing cycle creates a lost opportunity where every day can make a difference. By the time customers receive their invoices, two months have passed; when if these customers knew how well they were doing, they could have taken steps to do more.

Many districts, including the North Marin Water District, have installed electronic meters that allow these districts and their customers to track water usage on a daily basis.

Only 5,000 MMWD customers (less than 10%) have wireless meters.

The district is offering discounts for installing a device that can provide up-to-date water usage reports, but the number of customers who will purchase them is an open question.

Today, MMWD billing has to wait until staff can read the 55,000 meters that are not on “smart” electronic meters.

During this challenge, the district should make it as easy as possible to let its clients know how they are achieving their MMWD goal and, in most cases, that they need to take additional action. to reach it.

Regular reporting on its websites helps, but the district needs to do more. District-wide numbers are important, but they don’t provide clients with the individualized numbers they need to take further conservation action and assess their progress.

Switching to monthly billing would be a big help.

District budget keepers estimate that the change would cost around $ 1.4 million in increased staff and in issuing and sending more invoices.

It is a significant investment. MMWD and its customers are facing severe water scarcity.

It would probably cost less and be accomplished much sooner than installing e-readers.

In the short term, it would also be cheaper for the district to pay for the Flume water monitoring devices it promotes.

Switching to monthly billing – even if only for the months to come as we tackle the drought challenge and replenish our water supply – would give MMWD’s customers a valuable tool to help each and every one of them get through it. do your part.

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