Water Rates

Flagstaff has long used tiered water rates for residential customers as an incentive to conserve water (under tiered rates, the price per gallon increases as usage rises). Do you favor extending tiered rates to commercial and industrial customers?

Becky Daggett


Paul Deasy

I think the city should change its commercial water rate structure so that commercial users have the same incentive to conserve water as residential users. Today, residential water users have a tiered rate system, whereby the more water you use, the higher per gallon rate you pay. Commercial users face a flat rate. This means that commercial users do not have as much incentive to conserve.

Anthony Garcia

Yes. I believe that commercial, NAU, manufacturing, industrial and lawn/landscaping meters should be held to the same level of accountability as residential. By utilizing the tiered system among all community partners, we as a city, can truly make a commitment to water conservation holistically. Holding everyone to the same standards will incentivize everyone to be more cognizant of our water usage. There is an actual, quantifiable factor that will truly determine how much development we can sustain over the next 100 years. This factor is right beneath our feet. It’s our water supply.

Jim McCarthy

I pushed for significantly tiered rates when I served on the Water Commission, and support the concept for commercial and industrial customers. I believe there is significant support for this. It would likely have been implemented already except that there is not consensus on how it would be implemented, for example, based on meter size, type of industry, or whatever.

Eric Nolan

One of the best ways we can conserve water is through less use. I do favor commercial and industrial customers also using the tiered rate structure since this will incentive more of the heavier users of water to save costs through less use. This is a good opportunity for innovation and I hope to see firms take advantage in saving towards their own bottom lines.  

Charlie Odegaard

We’ve had this discussion and it’s not easy to compare to what we’ve done on the residential side. The commercial side we have manufacturing that uses water like Purina that would have a negative economic impact on the community. We had the tissue plant that was a heavy water user and because of the volume they did that company subsidized the community’s water usage costs that when they left we had to raise rates to make up the shortfall in revenues that was lost. Going forward it would be my wishes that we don’t attract industries that rely heavy on water.

Eric Senseman

Yes. Northern Arizona has limited water resources and those have been exacerbated by higher temperatures and less rain in recent years. Unless we heavily incentivize less water usage across all customers, the City of Flagstaff will not have access to drinking water for future generations.

Miranda Sweet

I agree with the tiered water fee system for residential customers. I would like to see the implementation of tiered fees regarding commercial and industrial customers. Increased fees that hit the pocketbook will translate into better water saving behaviors. The water fees help us in conservation efforts that can guide our community into delaying a possible 40 mile pipeline from Red Gap Ranch. There are challenges setting equitable fees in the commercial and industrial setting, but there is no question that the 65% of water customers need to be included in the effort to conserve water.