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New DSRSD water-shortage rates take effect

Table spelling out rate increases can be found online

The Dublin San Ramon Services District stage 3 water supply shortage rates went into effect Sunday.

DSRSD officials said the water shortage rates are in place for the following reasons:

* Provide an economic incentive for customers to use less water

Under the newly implemented rate structure, customers can reduce their water bill 3-5% by lowering their water consumption per week by 35%, DSRSD officials said. However, a customer's bill can increase by approximately 5-35% if the customer does not use less water.

A Water Consumption Rate and Water Supply Shortage Rates table can be viewed online.

* Generate additional revenue in order to fund conservation-related expenses during the drought

The additional revenue would come mostly from customers who don't reduce their water use by 35%. According to the district, the board approved a $300,000 budget for expenses during the emergency. A portion of that budget will come from the stage 3 rates and another portions will comes from the reserves.

* Ensure the financial integrity of DSRSD during the drought

Most of the district's water-operating costs are fixed. According to interim financial services manager John Archer, the rates are based on the full cost of service and standards of operation.

Customers can monitor their water use patterns and history with a customer portal called AquaHawk Alerting.

"With AquaHawk, customers don't have to wait for their bimonthly bill to see how much water they use for everyday activities," said customer services supervisor Vicki Goldman. "They can see how they're doing every day."

Customers can view their water consumption over a period of time, and receive text or email alerts.

To register for AquaHawk Alerting, customers need their account number.

"In addition, I'd like our customers to remember the Zone 7 (Water Agency) wholesale rate they charge the District for water comprises about 60% of a customer's bill," Archer said. "So if Zone 7 were to raise their rates in response to the drought conditions, that would automatically pass through to our customers."

DSRSD supplies potable water to Dublin and the Dougherty Valley region of San Ramon.

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