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LETTER: Unfair, one-size-fits-all water use fines in Las Vegas

I have been a resident of Las Vegas for 24 years, living on one-third of an acre. I xeriscaped my front lawn more than 10 years ago, but I have not removed the grass as yet in my backyard. Here is my serious concern:

Being a responsible citizen, this summer I reduced my watering to three days a week, despite the concerns of my gardener. I tried to do the right thing. In spite of these efforts, I received a bill for almost $700 for June. Last year at this time, I watered five times a week and paid only $236.

These excessive watering penalties levied upon 60,000 residents is very unfair — especially to those of us trying to reduce water consumption. There should not be a penalty on homeowners who are trying to conserve water by using less. Instead, they fine everyone the same $9 per 1,000 gallons overuse.

My reward for doing this is an excessive penalty as well as a lawn with burned-out sections that I will have to pay my landscaper to replant.

I have an appointment with the water company to estimate my square footage and determine how much rebate I will receive should I decide to take out the grass. Then there is the cost of re-landscaping the backyard for thousands of dollars — the savings will not be apparent to me for many years to come, in addition to the fact that I am doing something against my wishes.

What can be done? My proposal is to levy less of a penalty on homeowners who are trying to conserve water. Incentivize people to conserve and don’t punish the small homeowners who are trying to do the right thing. That would make us feel as if the water company is working for us, not against us.

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