Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has called for a 20 percent reduction in water use by the year 2020, and the new meters are expected to help achieve this goal. It is well documented that when consumers have to pay for actual use, they are very often able to use less than they did before. The meters will also allow faster identification of any leaks.
To encourage acceptance of the meters, residents are being allowed to continue paying the flat rate for a year after the meters have been installed. During this time they will be sent regular bills reflecting their actual water usage, and this will give them enough time to change their behavior if necessary.