By Miguel Gonzalez
Editor & Founder
(Adelanto)– Confusion has led to anger for Adelanto residents, who recently saw big jump in their water bills.
But city officials said Thursday that there is a positive solution to do away with this water price hike and it involves water preservation. “The solution is as simple as conserving water. It may take some time to get used to it, but just like people educate themselves to save money (or to stop smoking), it is something we can achieve,” Adelanto Public Utilities Director John Sponsler said.
Water conservation is not a problem exclusive to Adelanto or the High Desert. The entire state of California regards water as a precious, limited resource, according to experts.
City Manager Dr. James Hart explained that the current rate structure formula dictates that once water pumping for Adelanto residents has gone over the yearly allowed production of 2,700 acre feet, an extra fee has to be payed to the Mojave Water Agency, the local water purveyor. “We have a free production allowance that keeps water prices at a structure. Once that allowance has been exhausted, we have to pay extra for the water to the MWA and unfortunately we have to pass that on to residents,” Hart said.
Hart is realistic and admits that 2,700 acre feet of water a year is not enough to satisfy the needs of a city the size of Adelanto, but highlighted that significant savings could be passed on to residents if they are able to cut water consumption by 1,200 acre feet.
“This works just like your electricity bill from Edison, you cut back consumption, you get incentives.”
Adelanto is member of the Alliance for Water Awareness and Conservation (AWAC).
Sponsler considered this a great chance to educate residents. He pointed to simple solutions, such as reducing the waste of water by irrigating grass yards. “Outside irrigation represents approximately 60% of the water that goes to waste. A lot of people do not realize that there are alternatives.”
One of the most popular alternatives, according to Sponsler, is the Cash for Grass program that pays .50 cents per square foot to residents who opt for desert-friendly landscape.
Sponsler said Adelanto is in the midst of very aggressive water conservation program dedicated to educate residents. “Our Water Conservation Specialist Belen Cordero works with the community to show them ways to keep water bills down and take advantage of incentives.”
Besides landscape, other methods of water savings are to reduce showering times, adjusting sprinklers, reducing water waste while washing dishes, among many other options.
Most water districts throughout the MWA service area also have literature, outreach items and staff persons that can help teach smart water use habits to and help with planning low water using yards for their customers. For more information on the Cash for Grass Program, AWAC and its workshops and the steps you can take to establish and maintain a successful, low-water using landscape, please log onto www.highdesertsaveswater.org, www.hdawac.org; you can reach also Adelanto Water Conservation Specialist Belen Cordero at (760) 246-2300 x 3045.