Drought Charge

What is a Drought Charge?

The drought charge has been established at $7.50 per thousand gallons of water used. This will not apply to all of your water usage, only the portions citizens fail to conserve. This number is based on the current rate of wholesale water ($2,000/acre ft) if the City has to buy water beyond what is provided with their contract with the US Bureau of Reclamation (USBR).

How is the Drought Charged Applied?

Drought Charges are based on your 2020 July - September water use.  This usage will be indicated to you in a letter from the City.  Residential customers are asked to conserve 30% and Multi-Family customers are asked to conserve 25%.  Failure to meet these goals may result in a drought charge.  Additional information can be seen below.

Residential & Multi-Family Water Users

To detail how the drought charge works it is best to separate all water users into three main categories of water users. These categories were established through extensive review of water use data. While all categories must adhere to the same rules overall, the effects per categorical user will differ.

Low Water Users
Water users who use less than 15TG of water per month.
All water use below 15 TG will not have a drought charge applied, regardless of what your 2020 usage was. If you find yourself in this category, you are still urged to conserve water, but will see no enforcement actions.


1.  Assumed Use: 13.8TG

A 30% reduction of 13.8 TG is 9.6TG.  However, no drought charges will apply because the water use is under 15TG.

Median Water Users
Water users who use between 15 TG and 30TG of water.
Any water use above a 30% reduction of water usage compared to 2020 will have a drought charge applied, unless that usage is below 15TG. 


1. Assumed Use: 18TG 

A 30% reduction of 18TG is 12.6TG. Assuming that no water was conserved, 3TG of that water use will have a drought rate applied. That is because no water usage below 15TG will have drought charges applied.

2. Assumed Use: 25TG

A 30% reduction of  25TG is 17.5TG.  Therefore, any water use above 17.5TG will be at the drought charge rate.

High Water Users
Water users who use more than 30 TG of water per month. All water use above 30TG and usage above a 30% reduction compared to 2020 will have the drought charge applied. 


1.  Assumed Use: 50TG

A 30% reduction of 50TG would be 35TG. Even though a 30% reduction was observed, 5TG of that use would still be considered "high use", and have a drought charge applied to it.

2.  Assumed Use: 35TG

A 30% reduction of 35TG would be 24.5TG.  Therefore, all water use above 24.5TG would be charged at the drought rate.

Commercial & Industrial Water Users

Commercial and Industrial water use are generally tied to a need to provide a service.  As such, these users are asked to conserve 20%.  Any usage above the 20 percent conservation requirement, will be charged at the drought charge rate.  For example, a business uses 75TG of water in July 2020.  In order to not receive a drought charge, they must lower their usage to 52.5TG.  Any water above 52.5TG will be billed at $7.50.