A tiered rate structure encourages water conservation by rewarding efficient use of water and reducing peak demands. Based on the 2017 to 2018 winter quarter average water use data, the City’s lowest tier (0 to 10,000 gallons per month) provides sufficient water to cover water use for basic and essential needs for 97% of Melissa’s residential water customers. The first and second tiers (up to 15,000 gallons per month) provide sufficient water to cover water use for basic and essential needs for 99.5% of Melissa’s residential water customers. Water usage in excess of basic and essential needs is non-essential and non-efficient discretionary use of water such as irrigation, swimming pool maintenance, car washing, etc. The discretionary use is usually seen in the summer months and drives water facility storage, distribution, and pumping facility sizing to meet peak summer demands.
Therefore, the discretionary high water uses to pay a higher tier to offset the increased costs of sizing facilities to meet peak, discretionary demands.