Mandatory Conservation Plan FAQs graphic

Mandatory Conservation Plan FAQs

California is facing an extreme drought. Valley Water, Governor Newsom, and Santa Clara County have all made drought declarations.

Updated February 2022

 
Why did you send me a letter recently?

The letter, mailed January 10, 2022, was sent to all residential and landscape services customers. Your individual 2019 usage and drought allocations were listed. The mandatory conservation plan was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission on November 15, 2021 and implemented by San Jose Water on December 13, 2021.

How did you calculate my allocations?

Your allocations were calculated using your Average Daily Usage (ADU)  for each month during 2019, and then reduced by 15% to meet the conservation goals. The allocations were prorated based on the number of days each month within your current billing period.

What is the drought surcharge?

Customers who exceed their allocations will incur drought surcharges. Any units of water above the monthly drought allocation will be charged at the Tier 3 rate in effect, currently $7.13 per unit. This is in addition to charges at regular rates for all units of water consumed. 

For example, if your allocation is 10 CCFs per month and you use 13 CCFs, you will receive a drought surcharge of $21.39. (3 x $7.13)

How did SJW calculate my 2019 Average Daily Usage (ADU)?  

SJW looked at your 2019 usage for each two-month billing period.

Based on the number of days in a particular two-month period, we calculated your average daily usage (ADU). For your account, here’s an example for one billing period.

Billing Period           September 10 - November 6
Usage23 CCF
# of Days57
ADU0.403509 CCF/Day (=23/57)
What does the ADU mean to my calculated allocation?

SJW used the 2019 ADU as the basis for calculations. After computing the ADU for each billing period, SJW reduced the resulting monthly usage by 15% to reflect the current conservation goal.

Some months are covered in two separate bills. In this example, part of September 2019 is included in the bill from July 12 to September 10 (10 days) and part of September 2019 is included in the bill from September 10 to November 6 (20 days).  By adding both these numbers together, the entire 30 days of September are covered.

September 2019 Calculations    
Billing Dates   ADU # of Days in September  Totals 
July 12 - September 10  .4833333           104.8333333
September 10 - November 6  .403509           208.070175
   30 days in September12.90351
  15% Conservation Reduction10.96798
  Rounded Up11

 

The ADU with the 15% reduction was used to produce a monthly allocation for the mandatory conservation plan.

Why do I have a monthly allocation but receive a bi-monthly bill?

SJW reads meters every day. It takes about 60 days to reach all of our customers for billing purposes. The billing periods may not align exactly to the 2019 billing period.

When you receive your bill, your two-month allocation for the exact number of days in your billing cycle will be shown. This is based on the monthly allocations shared in the letter mailed to you in January.

Where can I see my new allocation showing my exact billing?

When you receive your bill, the exact allocation using the new ADU is listed under the Information section of your bill — top left corner. You will also see your actual usage for the same period.

If your usage is below the allocation, no drought surcharges are applied to your account.

How do I know if I am receiving my maximum allocation?

When the calculations are done, SJW rounds each number in the customer’s favor.

When did the plan go in to effect?  

The California Public Utilities Commission approved the Mandatory Conservation Plan (also known as Schedule 14.1) on November 15, 2021. SJW implemented the plan on December 13, 2021.

I lost my letter. How can I get a replacement?  

Contact our Customer Service Department. We can mail it to you.

Can I appeal my allocation?
There are several ways you may appeal their allocations:
  1.  Online Submission 
    • Please complete your appeal with our online submission form and it will be sent directly to San Jose Water for processing.
  2. Downloadable PDF – English & Spanish
    • Please download and print the form.
    • Upon handwritten completion, mail to: San Jose Water, 110 W. Taylor Street, San Jose, CA 95110.
  3. Fillable PDF – English & Spanish
    • Please complete this fillable PDF form.
    • Print and mail to: San Jose Water, 110 W. Taylor Street, San Jose, CA 95110.
  4. Contact our Customer Service staff to request a form be mailed to you.

What if I have health issues that require the use of water?

Please let us know if you have a health condition that requires extensive use of water to maintain your health, such as kidney dialysis. There will be an appeal form located at sjwater.com/drought to request a review. Or, you can give us a call at (408) 279-7900.


I already use very little water. Will I need to conserve more?  

A super saver is defined as someone who already uses less than 5 units of water per month. If you fall into this category, you do not need to reduce your water consumption by 15%. We thank you and greatly appreciate your efforts. San Jose Water’s Mandatory Conservation Plan considers “super savers” and has an allocation floor — the monthly minimum amount of water (in CCF) that any customer will receive as shown in the table above.


When does the plan start?

The California Public Utilities Commission approved the Mandatory Conservation Plan (also known as Schedule 14.1) on November 15, 2021. SJW implemented the plan on December 13, 2021.


When does my allocation begin?

Your allocation will begin with your first billing period following the implementation of the plan. Billing periods for customers will vary. We bill every day based on our meter reading schedule. It takes a full 60 days to read all meters. Each billing period is approximately two months long. 


When will mandatory conservation end?

Our Mandatory Conservation Plan will continue until the CPUC deems it is no longer necessary.


How will I know that I am achieving the conservation target?

The bi-monthly bills you receive will show your allocation as well as your usage.


I was not a customer of San Jose Water Company in 2019.  Will the allocations still apply?

Yes, for customers without a history in 2019, the monthly allocation will mirror the minimum monthly drought allocation.  Allocations will apply to all current and new residential customers as well as customers with dedicated landscape irrigation services.


What happens to the drought surcharges?

All drought surcharges collected are held in a special account.  The total collected will offset any incremental expenses and lost revenue resulting from San Jose Water’s response to the drought.  It will blunt the financial impact of the drought on customers.  All drought surcharges, expenses and revenue impacts of the drought will be carefully reviewed by the CPUC.


How can I use water more wisely?

San Jose Water appreciates all of your efforts to conserve water so that a safe, high quality, and reliable water source can be available in the future. For more information on our comprehensive water conservation program including complimentary water check-ups, go to www.sjwater.com/catch.  

Go to www.watersavings.org to check out the free water savings devices that are available to you such as showerheads, faucet aerators, and toilet flappers. There are also rebates available for replacing your thirsty lawn with drought-tolerant plantings and updating your irrigation hardware.


Why did you use 2019 as the base year and not 2020?

Valley Water, our water wholesaler, chose 2019 as the base year for the drought response. It was the last year of more normal rainfall amounts.


Where can I find more information?

Head to our drought page for the latest updates.