Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Water Meters, El Dorado

Continuation of a series of stories on water from the El Dorado Telegraph’s perspective.

An excerpt.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Water meters: Conservation tool
By: Philip Wood

Editor's Note: This is the third in a four-part series.

Though last winter brought a staggering amount of rain, global warming means water shortages for California residents, according to a report released by the California Department of Water Resources in July.

The average water delivery for agriculture and city needs from federal and state water sources could shrink to over 10 percent, the report forecast.

Because of the growing demand for what is quickly becoming looked at as "liquid gold," conservation is on the minds of water officials.

One the primary means of conservation is through metering.

While statewide, all new water service connections have been metered since 1992, a state law was signed in 2004 that required all water suppliers to install water meters by 2025.

Folsom will be fully onboard by 2013, with some metering that started at the beginning of the year in the Ashland area, which is north of the American River.

El Dorado Hills residents and businesses have been metered since 1985.

"There have been studies that show that water use goes down when meters are implemented," said Don Smith, Folsom's water management coordinator. "I

n metered places like Las Vegas, the average house uses 307 gallons a day."By comparison, he said that the average house in Folsom uses 875 gallons of water per day."

(With meters) people will be able to see what they're using, and without a meter, people have no way of knowing what they're using," Smith said.

El Dorado Irrigation District officials echoed Smith's remarks about residents being unaware of the quantity of water they use without a meter.

EID Water Efficiency Specialist Cari DeWolf said that 40 percent of household water gets used for indoors purposes and the remainder is used on the landscaping.

While metering can be an effective tool for conservation, the water bill can spike because residents may not know about leaks in the water line.