The Barton Springs/Edwards Acquifer Board is scheduled to vote Thursday, October 11 on rules (see http://www.bseacd.org/uploads/Draft_Rules_and_Bylaws_revisions_9_27_12.pdf , page 77-78, Section 3-6.1) that will allow them to set water rates high enough to force the use of less water.
While RRWSC adopted a rate structure in 2010 which we feel is consistent with the intent of the District’s new direction we do not favor the loss of local control that this proposed rule change implies.
Here is the applicable section:
3-6.1. CONSERVATION-ORIENTED RATE STRUCTURE.
Within two years of the effective date of these Rules, or upon the next water utility rate hearing following the effective date, whichever is earlier, all water utilities using groundwater within the District must adopt a conservation-oriented rate structure for selling water to their customers that is designed to be effective in reducing water demand for that customer base, especially during the Stage I Water Conservation Period and District-declared drought. Rate structures will be assessed for effectiveness by the District on a case-by-case basis using accepted utility guidelines and applicable TCEQ standards and regulations.
Extensions or exceptions for adoption of conservation-oriented rates may be granted by the Board in consideration of postponing implementation of a conservation- oriented rate structure until the next water utility rate change, provided a conservation- oriented rate structure is proposed for that rate hearing. The Board may grant such exceptions when requested by the permittee of a water utility.
At the end of the two-year implementation period, the existence of a conservation-tier rate structure that is acceptable to the District shall be a key consideration in assessing what part of the range of fines and penalties would be assessed for violations of Rule 3-7. related to Drought.