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Thread: Arid Southwest Water Costs

  1. #1 Arid Southwest Water Costs 
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    I do a lot of babbling about water here in the desert where my wife & I live. Thought about this as a poll, but it does not seem to fit that way, so let's try this: Today I came across a most amazing chart, which shows actual billing costs to various kinds of fresh-water users. I will list several, asking the readership to enter a monthly average billed cost for each of them, a guess, if you will. Only hints given: the numbers may astound you! All you need do, is simply list guesses of amount in order. Billed amounts increase from top to bottom of list. (DESERT? L.V. receives around 5" of precipitation a YEAR).

    Location: Clark County, Nevada, Las Vegas Metropolitan Area

    USER AVERAGE MONTHLY COST
    1. Average single-family home
    2. Single-family home, high use
    3. Terrible Herbst Car Wash
    4. Review-Journal Newspaper Co.
    5. Palo Verde High School
    6. Sunrise Hospital
    7. golf course
    8. major casino hotel

    jocular


    Last edited by jocular; September 25th, 2013 at 07:30 PM.
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  3. #2  
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    The Price of Water: A Comparison of Water Rates, Usage in 30 U.S. Cities | Circle of Blue WaterNews


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  4. #3  
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    Good article! Thanks. So, what is your guesstimate of monthly cost for the guys I listed? joc
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  5. #4  
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    No link in the first post.

    2nd one shows that raising cost in combination with regulations about not having lawns is working to reduce water consumption.

    There were so questionable comments in the 2nd article though.
    We don’t have a single shade tree that would grow at this elevation. Do you want to live in a city without trees?

    Seems rather unimaginative, considering there are even worse climates with large trees that would probably do fine with drip irrigation (e.g. date palms) as well as ignoring the fact that if someone chooses to live in a low subtropical desert you might not all the conveniences and plants you might happen to like.

    And of course the qualitative cost of dried up river deltas, trapped migratory fish and other destruction to the natural environment etc all gets ignored.
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    Do you want to live in a city without trees?
    Don't these people have access to the internet and gardening magazines?

    I realise that using non-native species in such areas can cause problems - some near-outback Australian towns are now getting rid of the invasive-in-favorable-circumstances pepper tree Schinus molle along with some troublesome South African arid plants - but there are plenty of suitable trees. Those that need no irrigation or very little. Sometimes you don't even need drip irrigation after a couple of years to get established. Simply inserting a couple of deep tubes near the drip line means that any rainfall or watering at all gets right down to the root system rather than just wetting the foliage then evaporating off.

    Only the unimaginative get stuck with olives and eucalypts as arid zone trees.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    No link in the first post.

    2nd one shows that raising cost in combination with regulations about not having lawns is working to reduce water consumption.

    There were so questionable comments in the 2nd article though.
    We don’t have a single shade tree that would grow at this elevation. Do you want to live in a city without trees?

    Seems rather unimaginative, considering there are even worse climates with large trees that would probably do fine with drip irrigation (e.g. date palms) as well as ignoring the fact that if someone chooses to live in a low subtropical desert you might not all the conveniences and plants you might happen to like.

    And of course the qualitative cost of dried up river deltas, trapped migratory fish and other destruction to the natural environment etc all gets ignored.
    You don't see the link I posted? It looks fine to me. Anyway I've lived in many different areas of the US and water prices all seemed comparable. However when I lived in a community close to Sacramento Ca. the water prices were about double what I was used to paying for. So I would have to say, it's a good idea to ask about water rates before moving into any community if that's going to be a big concern.

    I lived in Tucson Az, like one of the hottest places in the US for 8 years and the water rates were reasonable, but then I didn't have a lawn or a lot of plants I needed to keep watered. As much as I like a nice lawn, they are a real pain in the ass taking care of them and they do sport a monthly maintenance fee, that can be considerable. Anyway I'm past wanting to ever take care of or pay for one now.
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    As much as I like a nice lawn, they are a real pain in the ass taking care of them


    We just let ours go brown in summer. Though people who want a green lawn can always use undersurface watering (preferably from recycled laundry/shower water in summer) combined with a slow growing, low water needs grass. It won't look like a bowling or putting green, but it is easy on the eye and cool underfoot, and if it's close to the house it does ameliorate temperatures a bit once the sun goes down. Slow growing grass doesn't need mowing more than once every three or four weeks. It costs a bit more to set up, but if you're serious about both saving water and keeping green you'd restrict the size to what can be sustained anyway.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    You don't see the link I posted?
    I see and read yours. I was referring to the OP where it appears Jocular tried to put in a link but its not working.

    --
    Slow growing grass doesn't need mowing more than once every three or four weeks.

    Never mow more than once a month, whether it needs it or not :-). Not big on lawns anyhow, do it mostly to keep the skeeters down.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    You don't see the link I posted?
    I see and read yours. I was referring to the OP where it appears Jocular tried to put in a link but its not working.

    --
    Slow growing grass doesn't need mowing more than once every three or four weeks.

    Never mow more than once a month, whether it needs it or not :-). Not big on lawns anyhow, do it mostly to keep the skeeters down.
    In Texas, crabgrass was popular, but if you don't keep it short it develops a very thick mat due to the runners it spreads with, and it grows so thick even the most powerful mowers have trouble cutting it without stalling out. I'm sorry but I really had to mow every week or it became impossible to deal with. Sorry I ever used fertilizer on it, a big mistake. Then just when the growing season was almost over for the year, the leaves started falling for a couple of months and if you didn't keep cleaning them up, they were bound to get rained on making them twice as hard to clean up, but if you didn't clean them up they would start to mold up. I can't tell you how wonderful cleaning up 6 to 8 inches of wet moldy leaves that are all stuck together is.
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    Hmmm.... lived in Maine, Colorado, Texas, Georgia, Wisconsin, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Washington State. Pretty sure I've been exposed to a pretty wide range of grass but never saw a grass I couldn't let go for at least 3 weeks. But perhaps it's the height of the cut...I cut about 3-4" to get above the thatch. Being they contribute a lot of air pollution, really folks shouldn't mow much more often than that anyhow. Last year I bought a brush mower ...which is really fun because I could do it once a year if I want to:-)
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Hmmm.... lived in Maine, Colorado, Texas, Georgia, Wisconsin, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Washington State. Pretty sure I've been exposed to a pretty wide range of grass but never saw a grass I couldn't let go for at least 3 weeks. But perhaps it's the height of the cut...I cut about 3-4" to get above the thatch. Being they contribute a lot of air pollution, really folks shouldn't mow much more often than that anyhow. Last year I bought a brush mower ...which is really fun because I could do it once a year if I want to:-)
    Yeah! In Washington people mow their weeds and then call it a lawn. If you have a riding mower you can cut just about any length of grass or weed, keep it short and it's a lawn.
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  13. #12  
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    My idea here, unsuccessful thus far, was to draw out thoughts regarding how much ought water bills be where water abundance is limited. I'll wait a bit longer, I guess, then just go ahead with the actual list. I think it's a lot more impressive to guess first, then the revelation of the real numbers boggles the mind all the more. jocular
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    Ok...just for fun:

    I'd hope it would be some sort of sliding scale where a family of four could do the laundry, take a shower once a day, and flush their toilets after a bowl movement without going over a $100 bucks a month.

    If however they choose to wash their cars in the driveway, water their lawns every other day or a bath every night--well they should expect nose bleed bill--hundreds a month easy.

    If you live where there's not much water you should expect to live a water conservative lifestyle.
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    Here it is then. The source is Las Vegas Valley Water District. The column marked 2013 is actual average monthly billed amounts. Their purpose was to show proportionately how rate increases would affect the various levels of use. Personally, I find some of these numbers to be astounding! Imagine the cost of doing business nowadays, simply from the accounts payable amounts for water alone! For comparison purposes, the electric power bill for one of the Sears stores in Phoenix which I serviced averaged a bit over $35,000 per month, this being in 1990. At that time, the store's phone bill was running $55,000! Those two facts floored me, back then! jocular





    Note especially the golf course!
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    Almost a million and a half dollars per year spent watering grass on a golf course! I have extreme difficulty imagining the fees collected for use of the course can even possibly cover just the water bill, much less all the other expenses. A tremendous, flagrant waste, and example of the almighty dollar overshadowing reason. jocular
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Almost a million and a half dollars per year spent watering grass on a golf course! I have extreme difficulty imagining the fees collected for use of the course can even possibly cover just the water bill, much less all the other expenses. A tremendous, flagrant waste, and example of the almighty dollar overshadowing reason. jocular
    My former boss was a member of a club similar to this. There is a sector of society that most of us are completely unaware of, jocular. Southern Highlands Golf Course rates among the most prestigious in the nation.

    Southern Highlands Golf Club - Nevada, Las Vegas Golf Courses

    Check out their dues structure.

    https://www.pacificlinks.com/files/S...rice_guide.pdf

    I'm not saying I agree with such privilege and waste of public resources, merely showing that they have NO PROBLEM footing the bill.
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    Living in arid place you need to save more money to be prepared.
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    Prepared to spend the entire income on water! jocular
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