DSRSD slightly lowers 'water consumption' fee

Board cites 35% customer conservation as basis for scaling back drought charge

The Dougherty Valley's water supplier lowered its water rates by reducing a charge imposed due to the drought Tuesday.

The Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) Board of Directors decided to lower the "water consumption" charge on customers' bills, which are tied to water conservation.

The board reduced the charge from its Tier 2 designation to its Tier 1 designation, citing that DSRSD customers have reduced their water use by 35% compared to 2013.

"Our customers have done a terrific job and reduced their water use 35%, well beyond the (district's) state-mandated conservation level of 12%, so we can relax from Stage 2 water shortage rates to Stage 1," DSRSD board president Ed Duarte said in a statement Wednesday. "However, if winter rains and snow don't come, in the spring we may be forced to return to Stage 2 water shortage rates."

At the Tier 1 levels, customers who use between 0-10 CCF (100 cubic feet) will pay an extra charge of 59 cents per CCF, $1.39 per CCF for 11-34 CCF and $1.92 per CCF for more than 34 CCF, according to DSRSD data. That is less than tier 2, which is 66 cents per CCF, $1.72 per CCF and $2.88 per CCF, respectively.

One CCF is approximately 748 gallons.

In other drought-related actions Tuesday, the DSRSD board:

* Suspended the "Wise Water User Credit" for 2015-16 because low water-users are not significantly impacted by higher water bills at the Stage 1 rate, the board said.

* Eliminated the rebate for replacing a lawn with artificial turf, aligning the district's rebate program with Zone 7 Water Agency's rebate program.

* Allowed DSRSD customers to use potable water to fill spas and top off pools and spas, and for special construction needs.

DSRSD provides potable water service to Dublin and the Dougherty Valley area of San Ramon, as well as wastewater service to Dublin, Pleasanton and parts of San Ramon.

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