is the Water SMART allocation program?
Water allocations are a scientific method of calculating the water use
needs at a residence and are implemented to promote greater water use
efficiency. Water SMART
allocations are provided to
all individually metered residential homes and are based on the
specific indoor and outdoor water needs of each individual residence.
is my outdoor water allocation calculated?
Outdoor allocations vary by landscaped area, daily weather conditions
in the Santa Clarita Valley, and the number of days in a billing cycle.
Based on weather data and evapotranspiration (ET) factors (see What
is the formula for daily outdoor water allocations?
is evapotranspiration? ),
calculations are made to determine
how much water is needed for a healthy lawn and landscape. Calculations
assume landscapes at residential homes consist mostly of turf grass,
generally the highest water using landscape type, for the first 2,500
square feet. As landscaped areas increase, the water-use factor goes
down to a level for shrubs and drought-tolerant plants. For example, if
your total landscaped area is 3,500 square feet, the first 2,500 square
feet will be rated at the highest-water-using factor (turf) and the
remaining 1,000 square feet will be rated for less-thirsty plants
(shrubs). Valencia Water Company used aerial imaging to determine
actual landscaped areas for every residential customer with a single
meter. PLEASE NOTE: The introductory period for the Water SMART program
in 2010 used "assigned" landscaped areas based on neighborhood
averaging to calculate allocations. Some customers may notice changes
in their allocations because we have switched to the more precise
is my Indoor water allocation calculated?
Indoor water use is usually much smaller when compared to outdoor water
use. For individually metered family residences, indoor water usage typically
accounts for less than 1/3 of a customer’s total usage.
allocations are fixed at 6,500 gallons for a 30 day month based on
national research conducted by the American Water Works Association
Research Foundation (AWWARF) that shows what an average household of
four living in a residential home would need if they used water
efficiently and had the appropriate water-efficient fixtures. For
example, in a home with a 2.5-gallons-per-minute showerhead
(efficient), a shower under 8 minutes is considered being Water
SMART. Your indoor
allocation is calculated based on the
number of days in a billing period. So if your billing period is 30
days long the allocation is 6,500 gallons, if it’s 28 days it
will be slightly less than 6,500, if 33 days it would be slightly more.
are available upon
request for special needs.
were four people in a household used?
Many water allocation programs in the country are implemented with flat
amounts for indoor allocations, based on studies (such as by AWWARF)
that show what a typical family residence would use. It is
generally cost prohibitive to survey every residence to determine
present-time household size and specific indoor fixtures, so an average
household size is used. The Valencia Water Company’s analysis
homes in its service area showed an average of slightly more than 3
people per household. Therefore, 4 people per household were used to
represent the average household size. Of course, residents are always
encouraged to be as efficient as possible, regardless of how many
reside in the house.
do I know my water allocation?
Water allocations will be provided to customers on their monthly bill
and our website. Customers can log onto their secure accounts through
Web Connect service, see current
and past monthly allocations, how
their allocations are split between indoor and outdoor use, and their
actual water use compared to the allocation. If a customer finds that
their water use is in the Inefficient or higher ranges, there are many
tools offered by Valencia Water Company to help them become more
efficient. See a sample of this information below and on the
conservation page of this website.
water allocations vary?
Water allocations generally go up or down depending on the time of year
and weather conditions. Valencia Water Company receives actual weather
data for the region on a daily basis, so allocations may vary with
fluctuating weather patterns. Generally, more water is allocated to
homes during the summer months when landscapes need the water the most
and less in the winter. Indoor allocations will vary by the length of
the billing period, based on 6,500 gallons for a 30-day period.
do I get my water allocation after the month is over?
Your water allocation will be calculated using actual ET data. If the
allocation was to be given in advance, the allocation would have to be
based on historic water usage and predictive weather data. This program
is purposely designed to create shifts in usage based on actual,
present weather patterns.
do we need water allocations?
We live in a semi-arid area, so conservation is important to ensure we
have long-term supplies for future generations. Valencia Water Company
customers have been doing a good job at saving water. An
allocation-based tiered rate system provides customers with greater
detail about their individual water use, enabling them to better
monitor their use and help them identify where they can be even more
efficient. Being water efficient is good for California whether
we’re in a drought or not. The water we save today will be
when we really need it.
Water Company’s allocation
and tiered rate program is also in response to recent state law requiring per-capita water use in the state be reduced
by 20 percent by 2020. Valencia Water Company
believes its Water SMART
program is an effective and fair approach to meeting these objectives.
water allocations new?
Water allocation programs have been around for more than 20 years and
increasingly are being implemented in communities throughout California
and the Western United States. In communities using allocations, many
customers have become more efficient without sacrificing their
lifestyle. On average, customers provided additional information about
their water use become 20 percent more efficient.
are the advantages of a water allocation?
For customers, they can see more precise information about their water
use and how much of their water should be used indoors and out. Such
helpful information allows customers to better monitor their water use
and more easily identify where they can be more efficient with this
most precious resource. In the Santa Clarita Valley, typically 2/3 of
the water delivered to homes is used outdoors, primarily for irrigating
landscapes. In most cases, homeowners over-water their landscapes. The
allocation program provides more precise calculations for landscape
Valencia Water Company, allocation
programs can help reduce water demands and, thus, minimize purchases of
expensive imported water from Northern California. Additionally,
minimizing overall water demands on the system extends the budget for
repairs and maintenance of Valencia Water Company’s
infrastructure system. Collectively, these things will help keep water
there other ways to encourage people not to waste water?
Water allocations and tiered rates are based on need and, thus, a
fairer method than, say, asking everyone to conserve 10 percent of
their historic water use. The “reduce historic use”
methodology actually penalizes customers with efficient water use
practices. Water purveyors who have implemented water allocation
programs such as ours have seen significant decreases in water use,
particularly because these programs help change the behaviors of people
who were constantly wasting water.
everyone have a water allocation?
The Water SMART
allocation program currently applies
to individually metered residences and dedicated irrigation metered
customers with plans to expand to other
customer categories. Individually metered residences are the largest
category of Valencia Water Company’s customers.
are the allocation ranges?
The Water SMART
allocation program will show
customers their monthly allocation, along with five descriptions of
their use (from low to high) within this allocation. These ranges are:
|(Tier 1 + Tier 2 =
100% of total allocation)
- 150% of allocation
- 200% of allocation
+ of allocation
I am above my allocation, how do I reach the efficient level?
In most cases, water customers who exceed their base (efficient level)
allocation can take a few simple steps to be more efficient and remain
within their baseline allocation. Already, our website provides a
variety of tools to help customers – from easy-to-use
water conservation tips, to home water
surveys , to rebates for
installing high-efficiency toilets ,
and more. For information,
visit the Water
Conservation area or
call a customer service representative at
it possible to stay within just the Tier One level?
Yes. Saving water can be simple and achieved without sacrificing
lifestyle. Customers who monitor their outdoor water use and take other
steps to be more efficient can reach the Super Efficient level. Other
steps, such as reducing the amount of turf and converting to more
drought-tolerant landscapes, may be necessary, too.
are Tiered Rates?
Valencia Water Company implemented a tiered rate structure, effective
February 1, 2011.
the tiered rate system, customers who
remain within their efficient allocation will pay the standard rate.
Customers who use the smallest amount of the allocation will pay the
lowest rate for reaching the “super efficient”
level. Customers who exceed their efficient allocation will pay higher
rates. The tiered rate system provides customers with economic price
signals to discourage wasteful water use. See the Rates page for more information.
if I need more water? (Variance Process)
Variances, which increase the water allocation, can be reviewed and
granted on a case-by-case basis. Variances can be granted for more than
4 people living in a home or for landscape modifications not captured
by our aerial imaging. There are also other unique situations where
variances can be granted, such as for special medical needs or fire
protection. Should you need an allocation greater than the standard
amount for your home, go to Variance
Request Process, or call our
customer service department at (661)
all landscapes treated the same?
landscaped area is 500 square feet. This means that some residential
customers will receive a water allocation based on the minumum,
although their landscape may be smaller.
is the formula for daily outdoor water allocations (WA)?
The outdoor calculation formula looks like this:
= (ETo x Kc1
x .623) / IE + (ETo x Kc2
x .623) / IE
key is below)
= Water Needed for Irrigation
= Crop Coefficient
for Plant Type=.7 (assumes all turf grass)
= Crop Coefficient
for Plant Type=.5 (shrubs)
= The first 2,500
square feet of actual Landscaped Area
= Any incremental
increase in actual Landscaped Area that exceeds 2,500 square feet
= Conversion Factor (Gallons
/ Sq. ft.)
= Irrigation Efficiency= .71
WA for each day in a billing period,
which varies between 28-33 days, is accumulated to give the outdoor
water allocation for the entire period.
The amount of water a customer should apply on a landscape varies by
weather conditions and time of year. If it hasn’t rained
the hotter, longer days of summer, a landscape can dry up quicker and,
therefore, a customer needs more water to keep a landscape healthy.
Usually starting in September, as days grow shorter, water stays in a
soil longer and a customer does not need to water as much.
Evapotranspiration (ET) is the loss of water in the atmosphere by the
combined process of evaporation (from soil and plant surfaces) and
transpiration (from plant tissues).
do you get the evapotranspiration information?
This information is downloaded daily from the California Irrigation
Management Information System (CIMIS), a program of the Office of Water
Use Efficiency, California Department of Water Resources. CIMIS weather
stations, (there are more than 120 automated weather stations in
California), collect weather data on a minute-by-minute basis,
calculate hourly and daily values and store them in dataloggers.
Valencia Water Company obtains its evapotranspiration information from
the CIMIS weather station located at the Castaic Lake Water Agency main
office in Santa Clarita. For more information on how CIMIS stations
collect and process data, go to: