RCSD Water Conservation Ordinance Reviewed

Feature Redway Community Services District

RCSD staff

The Redway Community Services District (RCSD) held an official First Reading of the Water Conservation Ordinance at a Special Meeting Thursday, May 17th. The Ordinance is based on language in their standing Water Emergency Contingency Plan. The District’s attorney advised they adopt this plan into an ordinance.

The Ordinance sets RCSD’s perimeters for Summer Conservation, Mandatory Conservation, Water Shortage Emergency and Dire Water Shortage.

The Board spent a good deal of time looking at flow data for their USGS station at the Miranda Bridge.

The Summer Conservation will be implemented when the flow falls below 25cfs (cubic feet per second); or when the flow is expected to remain below 25% of median flow until fall rains begin; or when the District’s pumps need to run more than 18 hours a day to meet demand.

The goal of Summertime Conservation is to reduce the demand for water by 25%.

Mandatory Water Conservation begins when flow falls below 20cfs; or when the pumps need to run more than 18 hours a day to meet demand for more than three consecutive days; or when the river is expected to remain below 50% of average flow for the rest of the season.

The goal of Mandatory Water Conservation is to reduce the demand for water by 25%.

A Water Shortage Emergency will be called if the river falls below 10cfs or if the water supply is insufficient to fill the main tank overnight.

If a Water Shortage Emergency is declared, all accounts are restricted to a maximum use of 400 gallons a day.  Residential Customers are expected to use no more than 60 gallons of water per day per person in the household.

A Dire Water Shortage will be declared if there is a major natural disaster or a catastrophic system failure. During a Dire Water Shortage, users are expected to curtail use to “absolute minimum for human survival and safety.”

The District had divorced the potential 25% surcharge on water sales from the water conservation ordinance. However, Board Member Michael McKaskle felt strongly placeholder language should be included in the Ordinance so the surcharge is easier to implement once RCSD has complied with the procedures of Proposition 218.

The Board declined to make that addition, and McKaskle said then that he would suggest it again at the Second Reading and Hearing on May 24th.

The purpose of the surcharge, if it is implemented, would be to recoup revenue lost when people aren’t using as much water. It is proposed to be applied to the actual water sales and not to the base rate.

For this week’s upcoming Board meeting, on the 24th, Rogers has included figures in the packet for the Board to review. Without subtraction for reduced pumping and treatment costs, the figures prepared by Rogers indicate that if the District had to implement a 25% conservation measure for two months in a row, the District could see up to a $12,000 reduction in revenue for the year.  This represents about 3% of the District’s annual budget of $388,000.

The Board emphasized that the surcharge, if implemented, will apply to all customers. One of the three members of the public present at the meeting noted that the surcharge means people pay about the same bill when the surcharge is implemented if they are able to conserve their water as directed.

The Hearing on this Ordinance will be at the regular Board Meeting of the RCSD this Wednesday, the 23th of May at 6:30 pm in the District Office next to Greenwired in the Meadows Business Park.

  • Laytonville Rock
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10 comments

  • So, if you conserve water by using LESS water—-they will charge you MORE money on your water bill ?? !! How about lowering the pay of the water company managers for starts . The guy in Garberville gets 120k a year for babysitting 450 meters.

  • RCSD is a circus, run by clowns.

  • I was wondering about that surcharge as well!!! It seems like a punishment for complying with less water usage, which one would think would be the exact opposite of encouraging less usage!!! Personally if they were going to charge me more for less I would use as much as I possibly could!!! But that’s just me!!!

  • Yep, backwards thinking it seems! I get that revenue will be lower because people will, hopefully, conserve water. But to place a surcharge on them for doing so certainly doesn’t seem the best way to go about this!

    • It makes more sense to me at least to do it the other way around fine those who are using too much water, NOT those who are trying to comply it’s ass backwards to my line of thinking!!! By imposing a fine (which is exactly WTF it is) on those attempting to comply instead of those overusing the water supply seems extremely STUPID!!! Not to mention GREEDY!!!

  • The surcharge was supposedly “divorced” from the conservation order. And all parties would he charged equally, not anyone person charged more. What is missing from this release is how the Board expects to enforce the various levels of conservation.

  • Taurus Ballzhoff

    The highest cost for “town water” in history, and they want to charge you MORE for “conserving”…

    Good thinking, RCSD!

    One more group of bandits that needs to be entirely replaced!

    • No. That wasn’t what was said. They want to be able to force conservation when the water looks to be insufficient. This press release is silent on this but I suspect that this would include charges for using more than the limited amount of water as required by the State when they implement their conservation requirements.

      The surcharge, which was dropped from this proposed ordinance, was supposed to make up lost revenue for operating expenses caused by declared conservation requirements so that the income “needed” to run the whole system-the system has to operate whether it delivers lots of water or little water- is there to pay costs that don’t go away even if there is less water being delivered. The most touted scheme is everyone pays the same percentage- those that use a lot pay more but it’s the same percentage.

      If you want to be relevant, then maybe question the level of expenses as being required or the need for it at all. But there is nothing said in this particular proposal about any surcharge at all.

  • I wonder how this “Water Conservation Ordinance” would apply to Garberville Sanitary District (GSD) if they connect to RCSD? If GSD gets their way, they want to have a direct water connection with RCSD and use it during an emergency ( don’t know GSD’s definition or justification of “emergency”). Do the RCSD ratepayers know GSD has approached RCSD concerning this idea outside public meetings?

    Does GSD realize if they run out of water, Redway is down stream?

  • mccrank resident

    You can get 55 gallon plastic barrels on kijiji for as little as $10. Put it in your basement and use it to help drastically CUT your District water consumption by 80%, down to 50 litres per person per day, year round and SAVE $1,000 per year. Add up all the District’s fixed charges on your property tax and water and sewer bills. It will come to $100+ per month. Usage can be another $100+ per month for a total of $200+!! per month. By FAR the WORST in Ontario. Google “Oppose Bracebridge Sewers” for the website that describes a lot of water and power saving ideas. Some ideas are NO cost and produce big savings.

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