Your rain bucket is costing the city money!

Item 5c on tonight’s City Council agenda is a memo from Commissioner Moylan clarifying his comments about lawn watering.  From the memo:

The alleged link between lawn watering and streamflow is one that has been played up by river advocates for the past two decades. They view lawn watering as a wasteful abuse of water resources that is employed during a time of year when streamflow is lowest. Unfortunately for ratepayers, it is not just environmental zealots that share this view. …

Worcester receives significant revenue from water used by customers for lawn irrigation. The typical difference in water use between the winter months and summer months is about 3 million gallons per day (MGD). Of this, it is estimated that 75% goes toward lawn watering by customers. In a typical summer at current water rates this usage produces $1.2 million in revenue for the water enterprise. Through regulatory limits on lawn watering even a modest 20% decrease in water used for irrigation would translate into lost revenue of some $240,000.

Yes, contrary to rational belief, folks who water their lawns in August are not wasting water — they’re making an invaluable contribution to the local water system’s budget!

People who don’t water their lawns aren’t conserving natural resources — they’re costing the city revenue dollars!

I’d like to make the following suggestions to maximize revenue potential:

  • Ensure that automatic sprinklers are pointed to sidewalks for maximum inefficiency
  • Install high-flow leaky toilets in all new housing projects
  • Anyone with a brown lawn at the height of the summer should be fined $100 for not watering
  • Impose a special fee for anyone who composts in their backyard — if you’re not paying the trash bag fee, you’re freeloading off the rest of us!
  • The city should stop selling rain barrels — why let the competition get a leg up?

Any other suggestions for how to bring in revenue while showing those urban-mythmakers that water conservation is for sissies?




3 thoughts on “Your rain bucket is costing the city money!

  1. Holden can send water to Worcester. Oh, wait, we already do.

  2. elmparkblogger says:

    I dread moving to the new house on Hancock Hill. It will be the fourth house I have lived in that is in the Indian Lake watershed area.

    The Indian Lake drainage “valley” is one of the most suburbanlike settings in Worcester. Over there hundreds of well meaning folks–perhaps in an effort not to piss off their neighbors–outdo each other for the greenest lawns.

    The result of all that fertilizer goes into Indian Lake and vastly ages that scenic body of water. I am toying with the idea of not fertilizing and not picking up my grass clippings.

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