The Utah Foundation, an independent research organization, published a comprehensive four-part series in 2019 on the issue. Among its findings was that water companies see a 6.5% reduction in usage for every 10% increase in rates — a clear indication that pricing is the best way to promote conservation.
Saving water in a drought is more complicated than this, however. Raising rates would have an obvious impact on low-income Utahns who already struggle to pay their bills. Many of them live in apartments and would likely see the increase reflected in rents. Those who own homes would see a more direct impact.
The Utah Foundation reports suggest the state could find ways to tie rates to property values, charging less to those who could least afford it. Many water districts have tiered rate structures that provide low rates for the first 5,000 gallons used each month, then progressively more from there…View Article