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Excess Water Use#

Non-residential Rate Codes Only#

The EWU surcharge is collected when a commercial account uses more than its annual water allotment (terminology definitions below). The current EWU surcharge is $16.67 per 1,000 gallons over the allotment.

If you have questions, please contact Utilities' Customer Accounts at 970-416-4268 or

  1. Participate in the Allotment Management Program (AMP). Qualified customers may be eligible to receive a waiver from their EWU surcharges for up to three years if they implement a water conservation project.
  2. Sign up for MyWater. Monitor your hourly water use and receive free leak alerts via email with Utilities' online tool, formerly known as WaterSmart.
  3. Reduce water use through efficiency and conservation projects. Apply for rebates and receive a Landscape Water Budget, efficiency check or indoor water audit.
  • Allotment: The volume of water a given tap can use per year before incurring Excess Water Use surcharges (only non-residential taps installed after 1984). The allotment volume is based on the amount of WSR satisfied at the time of development plus any increases to the allotment paid for after development. A customer may increase their allotment at any time by paying cash or providing additional water rights.

  • Excess Water Use (EWU) surcharge: A volumetric charge assessed on all water used through the remainder of the calendar year once a customer has exceeded their annual allotment. The EWU is applied in addition to the regular utility rates. This surcharge is tied to the cash rate for the WSR and is evaluated every two years. Revenue from the EWU surcharge goes toward acquiring, developing and improving Utilities’ water supplies to address the impact of customers exceeding their planned allotment. The current EWU surcharge is $16.67 per 1,000 gallons over the allotment.

  • Non-residential Water Supply Requirement (WSR): Developers must provide water supplies to meet the demands of a new development and ensure a reliable source of supply in dry years. The WSR methodology is generally reviewed every five to seven years. Customers can meet the requirement through water rights or cash. The cash rate is based on the cost to acquire and develop additional water resources and is reviewed every two years. 

  • Non-residential: All commercial, industrial, public entity, group housing, nursing homes, fraternities, hotels, motels, commonly owned areas, club houses, and pools, including HOA common spaces and irrigation accounts.

  • Water Supply Requirement Fee: A user may increase their allotment by any volume at any time by making a payment instead of providing water rights. The current cost is approximately $0.21 per gallon increase.

What is the purpose of an allotment?
Depending on the type of business, some customers use more water than others. Water allotments are based on the amount of Water Supply Requirements provided to Utilities to meet the customer’s needs. Funds collected through the Excess Water Use surcharge, which are applied to water use over the allotment, allow Utilities to acquire additional water supplies if a customer uses more water than their allotment.

How are allotments determined?
Allotments are determined at the time of development and are based on estimated use and tap size.

What is the purpose of the Excess Water Use surcharge?
Unlike regular utility rates, which cover the cost operation and maintenance of the distribution system, revenue from the EWU surcharge goes toward acquiring, developing and improving Utilities’ water resources to address the impact of customers exceeding their planned water demands/allotments.

How do I know if am going to receive an Excess Water Use surcharge?
Monitoring use is essential to ensuring an account does not exceed its allotment. Sign up for our complimentary monitoring service, My Water. The Landscape Water Budget Program is another great complimentary monitoring service for taps with irrigation.

If I exceed my allotment, when will I start to see the Excess Water Use surcharge on my bill?
The EWU surcharge will appear on the monthly bill when the allotment was first exceeded. The surcharge will be applied for the remainder of the calendar year as well. For example, if a customer exceeds their allotment in the middle of July, the surcharge will appear for the first time on the July bill and will appear on all subsequent bills for the remainder of the year.

Why has the Excess Water Use surcharge been increasing?
Due to the rising costs of developing water resources, Utilities has proposed increases to the cash rate for the WSR and the EWU surcharge to Council. These have addressed the rising costs to develop additional water resources, which are needed to provide customers with a reliable water supply in the face of drought, population growth and climate changes. 

How do I determine what my allotment is?
For more information, call Utilities Customer Accounts at 970-416-4268 or sign up for our free monitoring service, MyWater.

How do I determine if I need to increase my allotment?
Fort Collins Utilities can determine if an increase to an assigned allotment is needed or if a customer can improve their water efficiency to use less than their assigned allotment. Contact Utilities Water Conservation for more information at 970-416-4371 or

How can I increase my allotment?
First, contact Utilities Water Conservation at 970-416-4371 to determine if it is necessary to increase the allotment. If it is, customers can pay to increase the allotment at any time.

What is an acre-foot?
An acre-foot is equivalent to 325,851 gallons.

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