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Understanding Water Conservation and the NTMWD Cap
In order to keep residential water bills as low as possible, it is important to keep the city’s total water use below the existing usage cap as set by the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD).
The possibility of exceeding the city’s usage cap increases as we enter the summer months. Please consider that any increase to the water cap will only result in a proportionally higher water bill for all Murphy residents.
As we enter the summer, the City wants to urge residents to be mindful of water usage. At present, we are not in a drought and have had adequate rains during the spring months. When we receive rain, please take the opportunity to turn your automatic sprinklers to the “off” position for a few days. Please be mindful of water use inside your homes also. The City offers the Aqua-Hawk monitoring program, which allows you to view water usage on an hourly basis. The Aqua-Hawk program also allows residents to set alerts when personal usage thresholds are exceeded. Details regarding the Aqua-Hawk program, as well as helpful conservation tips, are available under the Water Conservation link of the Public Works web site (www.murphytx.org).
The City of Murphy contracts with the NTMWD for the delivery of Wholesale Potable Water. Under the agreement, the NTMWD is responsible for providing treated water to a reception point within the City of Murphy. At the reception point, additional water treatment is provided by staff and the final product is delivered to Murphy residents through the city’s water distribution network.
The City of Murphy is a Customer City of the NTMWD. We are not a Member City. The distinction between Member and Customer cities is important. Member cities comprise the NTMWD Board of Directors and have a direct voice regarding the operations of the entity. Customer cities do not share the same level of authority and are limited in their supervision of NTMWD activities by the terms of the contractual agreement between the City and the Water District.
Our current agreement with the NTMWD is a “Take or Pay” contract. In simple terms this means we pay the same amount annually for water from the NTMWD, regardless of actual usage (subject to a usage cap). In any given year, if the city exceeds the existing water usage cap, a new cap is established and the subsequent billing from the NTMWD is adjusted / increased to reflect the new usage cap. The usage cap will never decrease. As a Customer City of the NTMWD, Murphy has limited influence regarding the establishment or amendment of rules surrounding usage caps. There are no alternatives to purchasing water from the NTMWD.
We need your help. We need each person reading this to assess their water usage and look for ways to responsibly conserve water. As we learned in Grade School, “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” An easy way to avoid higher water bills is to reduce water usage over the next four months and avoid the “forever penalty” that comes when the City of Murphy exceeds the NTMWD usage cap.