I had a chance to review the 2011 Water Quality Report for the city of Mount Shasta and was shocked. The water consumption for the city during the summer of 2011 was over 700 gallons per person per day. Average daily water use in the nation is closer to 150 gallons per person per day.
One would hope this extravagant overuse of water was some sort of aberration, but it is not. This excessive use of water has repeated for years. On one hand we love to tout how we study and protect our water as we blissfully waste 367 percent more water than an average water user elsewhere.
Here's an idea – city begin a phased program of installing 200 water meters (radio frequency style) per year. No change in the current water rate until all meters are installed. Develop a base rate covering a monthly estimate of average water use and institute a per gallon overage charge to correct bad habits.
I am involved with a mid-sized mutual water system located south of Mount Shasta. I am willing to sit down with the city council or city manager and discuss how this type of metered system works.
It is amazing how a metered water system positively impacts water consumer habits and stops hoses merrily flowing in the streets of Mount Shasta.
If we truly wish to conserve and cherish this resource then it's high time we wake up.