Board to decide whether to lower our rates or keep them high to avoid even higher rates and severe use restrictions.

We are just barely on pace to achieve our drought response goal of not importing any water before September 30.  Should we lower rates and risk falling short of this goal, or keep rates high to constrain demand?  The board will consider that question on August 11.

If it were not for the need to cope with the current severe drought, our Tier 1 allocation would be increased from 4,000 gallons per share per month to 8,000 to comply with a long-established policy of setting Tier 1 equal to the budgeted amount of groundwater.  However, in the current drought, the consequences of missing our target would be quite severe.  As explained by our general manager in the board packet–

Current cost to import water from Calleguas is $1,561 AcFt, if Crestview passes a Resolution to limit outdoor watering to 1-day per week and implements a pro-active monitoring plan to ensure compliance and minimize water demand.  If Crestview fails to implement the 1-day per week watering restrictions, then all water delivered by Calleguas above 9.7AcFt / Month will be charged at $3,561 AcFt.  For comparison, Crestview’s water demand for an average September is 95 AcFt.

Hanging over this is the likelihood that these same restrictions will continue throughout 2023—unless we have a very wet winter.  If our groundwater allocation continues next year at 747.945 AcFt, we will have an even more difficult time avoiding imports because in the first 27 days of the current water year we used only imported water.  In other words, this year we expect groundwater to supply us for about 11 months, and next year we would need to stretch it for 12.  So, unless we conserve even more in 2023, we are likely to have to import water in August or September 2023 and have the same two bad options quoted above.

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