Valley Center Revenue Hurt By Water Conservation

Water customers in the Valley Center Municipal Water District are conserving a lot of water -- both good news and difficult news for the district, 10News reported.

In July, the water district asked residential customers to cut back on their water use by eight percent. In July and August, they cut back by 32 percent.

The district asked agricultural customers to cut back by 30 percent, and they cut back by 48 percent.

"It's great that our customers have gotten the message, but it still has an impact on our revenues," said Gary Arant, General Manager of the Valley Center Municipal Water District.

The district makes 85 percent to 90 percent of its money from water sales, and they said sales are now down. The district has cut staff and reduced expenses, but it still has to supply water for 100 square miles.

Bob Polito, a citrus farmer and board member of the water district, said he is not surprised that growers have cut way back on water use and said it is economics.

"The small growers that may have two to three to ten acres are just shutting the water off; they're not even trying. It's too costly," Polito said.

To make up for the loss in revenue, the water district may raise rates in the future but nothing has been decided yet.