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Henderson City Council cuts water use for golf courses, lowers water rates

The Henderson City Council moved Tuesday to reduce the water consumption of Henderson golf courses and lower water rates for non-potable or undrinkable water.

An ordinance that amended the city’s municipal code to reduce how much water golf courses are allowed to use passed unanimously at the council’s regular meeting.

The restrictions will reduce water for golf courses from 6.3 acre-feet per year for each irrigated acre to 4 acre-feet per year. The changes will apply to local golf courses starting Jan. 1, 2024.

The reduced water allotment applies to all water used to irrigate golf courses, as well as on-site lakes, ponds, reservoirs and any irrigated outdoor areas on property that are landscaped and not taken up by a buildings, walkways, roads, pavement or parking lots, according to the ordinance.

Golf courses will be allowed to install new, city-approved meters to water service lines to monitor water usage, according to the ordinance. City officials will work with golf course representatives to figure out how much of the properties count as “irrigated acreage.”

“We’re going to have to continue to focus on conservation and working together so we can all maintain our quality of lifestyle,” Councilman Dan Stewart said of the ordinance.

Lower water rates

The council also moved to lower costs for non-potable or undrinkable water in the city.

Last year, the council approved a 15 percent rate increase each year for raw and reclaimed water – water that is treated wastewater or pulled straight from the environment with no treatment or purification – to “incentivize conservation,” according to Director of Utility Services Priscilla Howell. Drinking water rates would also increase by 4.8 percent each year.

Tuesday’s motion would lower the current rates per 1,000 gallons from $1.68 to $1.53 for raw water and from $1.43 to $1.30 for reclaimed water this year. The rates would both increase at a lower rate than 15 percent per year, ultimately costing $1.68 per 1,000 gallons for both raw and reclaimed water.

Rate increases for drinkable water will not change.

The proposal recognizes “significant investment required by non-potable water customers to reduce their consumptive use of water” through golf courses’ new water restrictions and by removing non-functional turf, according to the city documents.

Contact Mark Credico at mcredico@reviewjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @MarkCredicoII.

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