The Minnesota House and Senate are considering an amendment to a state statute that would require water conservation rate structures to be in place statewide by January 1, 2013.
The new wording in HF 1923 will give cities the freedom to choose between two options. A city could use water conservation rates to meet the new state requirement, or use uniform rates if it can be demonstrated that other water demand reduction efforts are providing conservation results.
The new language also clarifies that the process is meant to be collaborative between the city and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The DNR supports the new language, and analysts with the League of MN Cities say that is a key step in increasing the likelihood that the administration and Governor Mark Dayton will sign-off on HF 1923.
Proponents say the amendment works for cities that have a conservation rate structure and want to keep it, those that want to change the current rate structure, and those that do not want to adopt a conservation rate structure.
Although all parties appreciate the need to conserve our water resources, the proposed bill recognizes that increasing water rates is just one of the many ways communities can promote and achieve water conservation.