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New excess water use charge now in effect

Note: This week, I am printing a message from the Southern Nevada Water Authority in my column. It is an important topic that we will continue to follow.

With federal water shortages on the Colorado River continuing to impact how much water Southern Nevada can withdraw from Lake Mead, the Las Vegas Valley Water District has enacted an excess use charge aimed at reducing unnecessarily high-water use for residential customers.

The excessive use charge went into effect Jan. 1, and is applied when water use exceeds established monthly thresholds that change seasonally. The excessive use charge is $9 per 1,000 gallons of water use above the seasonal thresholds. For more information, including a water bill estimator, visit lvvwd.com.

Season monthly threshold

■ Winter (Nov. 1-Feb. 28): 14,000 gallons

■ Spring (March 1-April 30): 16,000 gallons

■ Summer (May 1-Aug. 31): 28,000 gallons

■ Fall (Sept. 1-Oct. 31): 26,000 gallons

Follow these simple tips to help manage your water bill:

1. Obey the mandatory seasonal watering restrictions and save up to $300 annually on your water bill.

Summer restrictions are in effect May 1 through Aug. 31 and prohibit spray irrigation between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., when water can be lost to heat and high winds. Sunday watering is prohibited all year.

2. Upgrade your water-thirsty grass to a beautiful, vibrant water smart landscape and get $3 per square foot from Southern Nevada Water Authority.

This can reduce your outdoor water use by up to 75 percent. Visit snwa.com to learn more.

3. Fix leaks and broken sprinklers or drip systems.

While you may be tempted to increase your landscape watering as temperatures start getting hotter, grass can survive with less water during this time of year.

In May, while nights are still cool, gradually increase your sprinklers from three days to four. From there, keep an eye on your landscape and increase watering only as needed into June, July and August.

On the other hand, plants and trees on drip irrigation can thrive with much less water. In the summer, water them two or three days a week. It’s all they need.

Continuing to follow the seasonal watering schedules and restrictions will help you avoid excessive usage charges while saving money on your monthly bills.

For more information about seasonal watering schedules and landscape tips, visit snwa.com.

Barbara Holland, CPM is an author, educator, expert witness on real estate issues pertaining to management and brokerage. Questions may be sent to holland744o@gmail.com.

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