Dallas Adding Mandatory Rate Hikes to Its Drought-Response Arsenal

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Councilman Philip Kingston's lonely quest to kill off the Lawn Whisperer appears like it's doomed to fail. Mr. Whisperer, a character in advertisements, features prominently in the city's long-term water-conservation plan, which was briefed to the City Council's Quality of Life Committee this morning.

But it looks like Dallas Water Utilities has taken Kingston's other water-related directive to heart: "You conserve water by paying a higher price."

As part of its new, state-mandated drought-contingency plan, the city plans to start charging more for water when things get particularly dry.

See also: Dallas Councilman Philip Kingston Wants to Kill Off "Wrongheaded" Lawn Whisperer Campaign

The rate-hike won't apply until the area's reservoirs hit 50-percent capacity (they're currently at 71 percent), and it won't apply to all water users. When the water does drop low enough, however, homes that use 15,000 gallons or more per month and commercial customers who use more than 10,000 gallons per month will pay 25 percent more. When lake levels drop to 45 percent, that jumps to a 50 percent increase.

As DWU director Jody Puckett explained, such an increase serves two functions. For one, higher prices will encourage conservation. Also, "when you have a drought and you're not selling any water, you need higher" prices to offset the department's costs.

For the moment at least, most Dallas residents will be spared the extra costs, but rate hikes have become increasingly common as Texas cities have struggled to cope with drought, as the Texas Tribune reported this morning.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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34 comments
blankcur1
blankcur1

I would fill in my pool if it wasn't so darn expensive, why cant city council help with that?

ebailey75057
ebailey75057

"The rate-hike won't apply until the area's reservoirs hit 50-percent capacity (they're currently at 71 percent), and it won't apply to all water users"

Would like a list of who and why these rate hikes don't apply to and match it against a political donation list.  

ColonelAngus
ColonelAngus

http://carlsbaddesal.com/


$1 billion (plus pipeline costs) for 50 million gallons per day - should current population growth levels continue, this may be the answer for north Texas.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

I would like to know how DWU can sell water to other municipalities and water districts at such a rate that those municipalities and water districts charge their residential customers a lower rate than what DWU charges me.


That being said, why is not the NTMWD held responsible for their lack of planning and execution for the development of additional water supplies in the face of their growing number of customers?

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Tactically, I think the DWU missed the deal by assigning rate increases based upon water usage.  My water bill this month was $116.02.

The water charge was $14.91.

Sewer was $17.39 (based upon water usage, I think)

The storm sewer charge was $83.52.

DWU needed to hook us up to the storm sewer impact fee.

Or just assign a big impact fee when the lakes drop to the trigger point.

Then everyone will stop using water as much but then DWU doesn't have to worry about the bad effects of conservation on on the City's fixed overhead.

See this way the City would not have to emancipate their wage slaves.

Voot
Voot

"Also, "when you have a drought and you're not selling any water, you need higher" prices to offset the department's costs."

Speaking of visionary, these are also the economics of Obamacare's death spiral.

This is also where people just start popping hydrants open and serving the neighborhood.

ruddski
ruddski

Eventually, those monies will end up in the pockets of visionary capitalist investors like T Boone Pickens.

wcvemail
wcvemail

This will add some urgency and raise the profile of those periodic lists of large water consumers. 'Twould be entertaining and educational to see a re-do of long-time Houston TV restaurant "reporter" Marvin Zindler's weekly recaps of that week's city health dept. inspections, excitedly naming and shaming specific places. How about the "Weekly Water Warrior" to update the Whisperer?

d-may
d-may

Great news. The price of our water has been WAY too low for far too long. 

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul  

Because.

See, the City of Dallas is just a horrible place, so all those people had to move to the suburbs, but the suburbs didn't have any water, so they got Dallas to sell them cheap water so they could have golf courses and multi-head showers.

All the bible beatin', gun totin', fag hatin' Dan Patricks of the world made rules requiring us big bad libtard city folk to sell them water below our cost of replacement so they could get away from us.

I say we pull the fucking plug on the pumps and let'em dessicate.

ruddski
ruddski

Holman, you drink too much.

tdkisok
tdkisok

@ruddski  


........who is a Republican. When will you ever learn how the GOP is using your  lack of intelligence to dupe you and others into voting for them and perpetrate their brand of rhetoric? All they have to do is use the Southern Strategy ("welfare queens", etc) and propagate false fear about gay marriage and you dumb fucks vote for idiots like Louie Gohmert. 

Kimmel
Kimmel

@Montemalone  You have my vote for Director of H2O for having a direct attitude and your use of the word desiccate which I assume is the plural of defecate.   

ruddski
ruddski

"........who is a Republican."

That means the water will be mixed with expensive bourbon.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@tdkisok @ruddski  

Pickens has focused his advocacy on alternative energy such as solar and wind. The Washington Post says that "perhaps the strangest role" Pickens "has fashioned for himself is his current one: the billionaire speculator as energy wise man, an oil-and-gas magnate as champion of wind power, and a lifetime Republican who has become a fellow traveler among environmentally minded Democrats – even though he helped finance the 'Swift boat' ads that savaged" Sen. John F. Kerry's presidential campaign. In an editorial, The New York Times reported Pickens "has decided that drilling for more oil is not the whole answer to the nation's energy problems."

In the spring of 2010, Senator Kerry reached out to Mr. Pickens and encouraged his support of energy/climate change legislation he was drafting with Senators Lieberman and Graham. During a May 2010 meeting with reporters, Senator Kerry endorsed key provisions of “the Pickens Plan,” incorporating aspects of that in the Kerry-backed legislation calling for the greater use of domestic natural gas to replace foreign oil/diesel/gasoline in America’s heavy duty vehicle fleets.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@tdkisok @ruddski When will you ever learn that when the Dems have you convinced that they can do no evil, and to denigrate your fellow voters with a stereotyping brush, that they are convinced you're an idiot. A useful one, but an idiot.

NEITHER PARTY IS ON YOUR SIDE, dumb fuck.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@holmantx @tdkisok @ruddski  dogs and cats, sleeping together...surely this is the end of days.

Seriously, very good summary of interesting info, Holman.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@Montemalone  You've seen those diverging circles-of-interest diagrams, I'm sure, showing that the most conservative Dem is increasingly to the left of the most liberal Repub. It's the Repubs who have moved more, I believe. The scary thing for us who are looking for sensibility is that nobody's left in the middle to represent us.

For the record, I put my time where my third-way mouth is, when I manned tables requesting signatures for Kinky as gov in 2004. That was until he finally just got bored with the charade, and had siphoned enough of the sensible vote that would have been against the eventual winner, Perry. Cue the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again." 


Wait--you intentionally learned French? You weren't, like, a prisoner and had to learn it to survive? (sidling away at the bar)

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@wcvemail @Montemalone@tdkisok@ruddski 

I'm a radical moderate. 

The repubs have gone so far off the deep end they are deserving of nothing but scorn. They haven't presented any solutions to anything other than keeping billionaires in the billionaire business.

The Dems may have problems, but for the most part they advocate for the majority, meaning the majority of the population.

I'd love to have some sensible, fiscally intelligent, socially aware, environmentally concerned, business savvy politicians to vote for, but I don't see that happening. In the meantime, there really is no choice but to support the Democrats. The alternative for this pot smokin', fudge packin', French speakin', atheist heathen is unthinkable.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@Montemalone @wcvemail @tdkisok @ruddski  Those are three hits, for sure. All I got off the top of my independent-voting head, just for argument's sake, are Sheila Jackson Lee, the senior woman rep from CA, and the extended Dinkle (?) family of and in MI. 

Point: Monte.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@Sharon_Moreanus  The estate must be watering the daisies on Fred Baron's grave, as he's been in "no further court appearances" status since 2008.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

TD Jakes, Ross Perot, Issam Karanough, Fred Baron, Leonard Roberts.

The list is endless.

Miller and TI are biggest corp. users.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@ScottsMerkin @Montemalone @wcvemail I want to see graphics, described in shocked and serious tones, of "That much water would be enough to FLOOD the entire GRAND CANYON!" or "would be enough to give Hicks' maid's family enough water for FIFTY-SEVEN YEARS!"

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