There is still a serious water shortage in Southern California. Remember — only 40% of the IRWD water is obtained locally. The rest comes from the Colorado River and northern California mountain regions.¬†As droughts have continued, and as our awareness of drought has increased, most of us have stepped up efforts to reduce water consumption. The inclusion of water usage in our monthly bills from ICHA has helped us to track the results of these efforts without have to go out and read our own water meters, but many of us are considerably in the dark about judging just what sort of water usage is reasonable.

While the water in University Hills is neither metered nor billed by the IRWD (we are metered and billed by ICHA, which buys the water from the university, which buys it from the IRWD), a look at their billing rate structure may help develop household water conservation guidelines and goals. The IRWD uses an ascending block rate structure which charges progressively higher amounts as usage increases, as outlined below (the basic unit of our water usage is the ccf (100 cubic feet), which is approximately 748 gallons). The names of the different blocks below suggest usage goals:

Detached ( <5 occupants) Attached (<4 occupants)
Block Winter (ccfs) Summer (ccfs) Winter (ccfs) Summer (ccfs)
Low volume 0-6 0-8 0-3 0-4
Conservation 7-12 9-15 4-6 5-7
Penalty 13-21 16-27 7-12 8-12
Excessive 22-29 28-36 13-15 13-16
Abusive 29+ 37+ 16+ 17+

(Winter is November through April. Summer is May through October.)