What happens when governments ask the public to report water waste?Ever feel like you're being watched?Rainfall has been low, the mountain snowpack is thin, and Californians are bracing for another year of scarcity. But


​​Lessons from California ​water conservation​, 2019​Reservoirs aren't supposed to look like this.Tough water times may be back in California. After the Golden State suffered through a historically severe drought from 2012-2017, ​pleasantly wet weather


Understanding progressive & regressive water pricingIt's irrigation season, everybody!By Antonio & Manny TeodoroHow do utilities distribute the costs of drinking water systems to their customers in their rate structures?The answer is surprisingly complicated, and


A decoupling drama plays out in San JoseDo you know the way?The San Jose Water Company recently proposed a significant rate increase, and its customer are understandably unhappy. Their discontent is an ironic result


A California surprise: updatePost-drought pornCalifornia has been enjoying a great deal of rain and snow over the past several months—a pleasant rebound in precipitation after the brutal drought that plagued the state from 2011-2017.


Devils (and angels) in the details, Part 2It's always about the money.In early January the California Water Board released its draft proposal for a statewide low-income water bill assistance program. My last post summarized


drought pornDuring California’s recent drought, the utilities that own their supply sources conserved more than the those that purchase water from wholesale suppliers-Warning: this post contains hardcore wonkery-A while ago I blogged about my ongoing


Yeah this stinks kid, but it beats smallpoxWhy rate structures, not assistance programs, offer the most promising path to water affordabilityWhen discussions of water and sewer affordability turn to policy solutions, they typically focus


Many California communities restricted outdoor irrigation during the recent drought. Did enforcement matter?Bad water boys, watchya gonna do when they come for you?Faced with water scarcity, communities sometimes restrict residential outdoor water use, such as


A California Surprise, Part 3California’s private utilities continued to out-conserve public utilities even after the state lifted its mandate.In 2015 the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) ordered drinking water utilities to reduce


A California Surprise, Part 2More drought porn (this is used to be Folsom Lake)How private implementation separates public policies from their political costs.Warning: this post contains hardcore wonkery.In 2015 the California State Water Resources


A California surprise, Part IDrought pornSomething unexpected happened when California ordered its utilities to save water: the state’s investor-owned private utilities out-conserved local governments.California’s long-term drought began as early as 2007, but intensified to


Why water utility service can be simultaneously underpriced and unaffordableAnalysis of water and sewer affordability implies a concern that the prices of these critical services might be too high. At the same time, decades