Environment & Science

Central Valley towns skirt water meter mandates

Residents of a small Central Valley city continue to pay a flat, monthly rate for water despite having water meters installed nearly five years ago.
Residents of a small Central Valley city continue to pay a flat, monthly rate for water despite having water meters installed nearly five years ago.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Residents of a small Central Valley city continue to pay a flat, monthly rate for water despite having water meters installed nearly five years ago.

The San Jose Mercury News reported Saturday that Proposition 218 allows for water district customers to opt out of using water meters if a majority of homeowners protest their use.

Morada is one of three small towns in the region that have had water meters installed but don't use them. Many of the town's residents in San Joaquin County pay $126 a month for water. They're paying less than many nearby homeowners and using eight times the county average.

Residents say many homeowners tend to large estate-lots that need abundant water to keep the grass green. They say meters would kill many lawns.