Firm Hired to Explore Drought Surcharge

The city of Ukiah has hired a firm to con­duct a water rate study and explore a drought sur­charge. The coun­cil approved hir­ing the Reed Group of Sacra­mento at its last meet­ing. Pub­lic Works Direc­tor and City Engi­neer Tim Erik­sen says a drought sur­charge keeps your bill at what you would typ­i­cally use, so even if you use less, you will be charged for the amount you typ­i­cally use. Ukiah res­i­dents have been cut­ting back on their water usage because of the drought. He says the city typ­i­cally uses 2 mil­lion gal­lons a day dur­ing the win­ter, but that recent usage had dropped sig­nif­i­cantly to less than 1.5 mil­lion. The pur­pose of the drought sur­charge is to keep the city’s rev­enues sta­ble regard­less of how much water res­i­dents are using, and pre­vent steep increases in the future.