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History of Secondary Water Metering

In the 2016 General Session of the 61st Utah Legislature, S.C.R.1 Concurrent Resolution Encouraging Universal Metering of Water Systems was passed to encourage public water suppliers to implement universal metering on all retail public and private water systems.  The resolution states that when citizens know how much water they are using, they tend to voluntarily conserve that water.

In the 2018 General Session of the 62nd Utah Legislature, Senate Bill 204 was introduced and sponsored by Senator Jacob Anderegg requiring meters be installed on any new secondary water connection by January 1, 2020.  It required all existing commercial, etc. secondary water connections be metered by January 1, 2026, and all existing residential secondary water connections be metered by January 1, 2028.  Although Senate Bill 204 did not pass, this was the start of Utah’s Legislature requiring secondary water connections to be metered.

In the 2019 General Session of the 63rd Utah Legislature, Senate Bill 52 was introduced and sponsored by Senator Jacob Anderegg requiring meters be installed on any new secondary water connection beginning April 1, 2020.  It also required all secondary water providers submit a plan of how they would install secondary water meters on all their existing connections and all secondary water providers must submit a report of their annual water use to the Division of Water Resources (the “DWRe”).  Senate Bill 52 passed, and Roy Water Conservancy District (the “District”) was already in compliance with its requirements due to a Resolution adopted by the District’s Board of Trustees on August 14, 2013.  The District also submitted a plan to DWRe outlining a 50 plus year schedule to meter its system without significant assessment or rate increases to its secondary water users.

In the 2020 General Session of the 63rd Utah Legislature, Senate Bill 51 was introduced and sponsored by Senator Jacob Anderegg to allow those secondary water providers who could not purchase a meter that a manufacturer would warranty because of the nature of untreated secondary water an exception to the requirements of Senate Bill 52 that was passed in the 2020 General Session of the 63rd Utah Legislature.  Senate Bill 51 passed with some additional technical changes to Utah Code Annotated § 73-10-34.

In the 2021 General Session of the 64th Utah Legislature, Senate Bill 199 was introduced and sponsored by Senator Michael McKell which requires a secondary water provider to create a reserve account for the installation of secondary water meters, restricts the increase of water rates by no more than 10% for the purpose of installing secondary water meters, clarified some requirements of the report to be submitted to DWRe, and made grants available to small secondary water suppliers.  Senate Bill 199 passed, but the District exceeds the number of connections to qualify for these grants.  The District increased rates by 9% in 2021 to establish the fund and comply with the new law.

In the 2022 General Session of the 64th Utah Legislature, House Bill 242 was introduced and sponsored by Representative Val Peterson which requires a secondary water provider to meter all of its secondary water connections by January 1, 2030, or be subject to fines which increase each year from $10 per connection the first year up to $50 per connection until all of the secondary water connections are metered.  Grants and loans were made available to secondary water suppliers to offset the cost of installing secondary water meters.  The District anticipates the total cost of metering all of it secondary water connections will cost more than $30 million.  The District is currently only able to receive up to $20 million in grants which the District has applied for and been authorized to receive based on compliance with the Board of Water Resources’ requirements.

The District has applied to the Utah Board of Water Resources (the “Board”) and received two loans to be used in the construction of secondary water meters for a portion of the District’s secondary water connections.  Payments shall be made from the net revenues of the District’s water system.

The District has also applied for and received three WaterSMART Small-Scale grants of $75,000 each which has resulted in the installation of 230 secondary water meters within District boundaries.

 In compliance with Senate Bill 199 passed during the 2021 General Session of the 64th Utah Legislature, the District has begun raising rates for the installation of secondary water meters.  In 2022 and 2023 the District increased rates by 10%.  It is anticipated that rates will continue to increase until there are sufficient funds in place to pay for this bond and future bonds which will be required to complete the installation of secondary water meters on all the District’s secondary water connections.  All the District’s secondary water connection must be metered by January 1, 2030, or there will be penalties as imposed by Utah Code Annotated § 73-10-34(8)(j).