The new rates take into consideration water conservation previously mandated by the state. It is anticipated that conservation will initially cause a 20% to 28% reduction in consumption. Some of the costs of operating the water system go down when we use less water, such as the electrical costs of running the pumps. However, most of the costs do not depend on how much water is used, such as the cost of the distribution system, water quality monitoring, and debt payments on previous water bonds.
There are also some extra expenses for keeping the wells operating adequately due to the drought, such as the loss of one well and repairs that are necessary to address lowered water tables in three other wells. The water rates need to be set at a level so that the costs of operating the water system can be covered regardless of how much water is used.