Big Brother Will Enforce New Chino Hills H2O Rate Program

The Chino Hills City Council appears on track to ratify imposing the first of five annual eight percent water rate hikes at its May 8 meeting, the same day it will structure graduated water use penalties into its fee structure, which is intended to effectuate de facto water rationing on Chino Hills residents.
Using an intrusive formula which will require all households to declare the number of people living within each domicile and further subject every residence and accompanying yard in the city to aerial surveillance by which the intensity of vegetation irrigation will be monitored, the city is purposed to ensure that those residents/families which fail to adhere to the city’s water efficiency standards will be subjected to financial penalties. Based on meter readings and the data extrapolated from the monitoring of whether each household restricted water usage to the allotments deemed proper, customers will be billed for their per gallon usage according to a three tier paradigm.
A first tier will apply only to water usage within the house used for drinking, cooking, bathing, showering and toilet function. Water usage on that tier is prorated to the number of occupants in the home, with each person allowed to use 55 gallons per day.
The second tier pertains to outdoor usage, calibrated to the landscaped area of each individual house with a weather condition factor applied. It is in this arena that the aerial photographic data will be utilized. The formula being used has built-in favoritism toward the wealthier set, who can afford to live in homes with larger yards and more verdant landscaping. Those with more landscaping are allotted more water use at the lower rate, with a calculation that a typical lot will have one third of its area covered in vegetation. Homeowners will be able to utilize water sufficient to irrigate one third of their property. Water allotments for irrigation will flex higher during the months of July to September.
Those who go over that threshold will be categorized into a third tier, in which they will be charged a higher rate for their water use.
It has not been disclosed how the city intends to differentiate between water use inside homes as opposed to outside of the homes, although it has been suggested the city possesses some order of mechanism for doing just that..
City residents can lodge a protest against the rate hikes but the city will not be bound by those protests unless a majority of the property owners register resistance to the increases. The city does not anticipate that protest will meet the requisite threshold of 50 percent plus one of water customers lodging protests, and it is proceeding toward instituting the rate increases as of July 1.

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