Re: Water usage questions
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2014 08:24:59 -0800 (PST)
On Nov 2, 2014, at 1:57 AM, Norman Gauss <normangauss [at]> wrote:

> It is difficult to determine water usage for individual living units because
> each one is billed separately.  We at Oak Creek Commons in Paso Robles, CA
> have one meter for irrigation and another for common house, laundry, and
> pool/spa usage combined.

It's also hard because of extra charges. In DC, we are charged a storm water 
fee that is based on SF of asphalt, roof, sidewalks, etc. And municipalities 
tax differently. And water per gallon varies in cost. Our water usage has gone 
down but our costs have gone up, a jump of ~$6,000 for 2015. The jump is almost 
entirely due to the storm water fee.

I don't have access to a monthly bill but our annual budget for 2015 is $25,000 
for ~67 adults and ~20 children, ~287 per year per person. That includes lawn 
watering, kiddie pools in the summer, a water balloon fight on July Fourth, and 
a hot tub. 

We have one water account because it is cheaper than 43 accounts since a 
minimum is included in each account.

A few years ago we had one of those companies that will put in individual 
meters to monitor water usage (knowledge reduces use) and check for water 
leakages in each unit. They are paid by taking the difference between the 
amount you paid before and the amount you pay afterward for a certain number of 

They said we used far below what other communities used and it wouldn't be cost 
effective for him to take us on. There wouldn't be sufficient savings.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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