April 1, 2002

            The second commandment for water users, right after "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's water bill," is, "Provoke not thy meter reader unto dyslexia." In other words, don't confuse him until after he has carefully written down your meter reading. No matter how easy and fun it may be. This advice is provided now because the USCDWUA meter reading season officially opened in March. Please note that does not imply that the meter reader season also opened. The legal bag limit on meter readers is still zero, folks.

            Your monthly meter reading dates fall within one of five cycles, depending upon where you live:

            Cycle 1: Redlands Mesa, 18th through 20th

            Cycle 2: Lower Cedar Mesa, 20th through 22nd

            Cycle 3: Upper Cedar Mesa, 22nd through 24th

            Cycle 4: Lower Surface Creek Valley, 24th through 26th

            Cycle 5: Upper Surface Creek Valley, 26th through 28th

            You can tell which cycle applies to your home by observing the meter reading dates, which are printed on your water bill. If you are in doubt and need to know, call the USCDWUA office.

            We might not read your meter exactly 30 or 31 days after the previous reading. But don't worry, our billing software protects you from being gouged if an extra day or two creeps into the billing period.

            Speaking of billing, it is appropriate to remind a few of our beloved customers that the bill is best dealt with in the month received, not added to the “to do – sometime” list. After all, the water you used is kinda hard for us to repossess. Although somebody did ask once, seriously, if water from Harts Basin (Fruitgrowers’ Reservoir) was being pumped into the USCDWUA system. Really, I didn’t think our water tasted that bad.

            Speaking of harebrained ideas, and since this is the All Fools edition, have you been reading about “The Straw,” a proposal to pump the Colorado river back from the state line to the top of the Continental Divide? I swear I thought of that first, and wrote about it in an April 1 newsletter years ago. The difference is, I was not serious.

            I promise to be less subtle with the irony and so forth in future April Fools letters. It pays to remember that if you’re going to joke, make it clear you’re joking, and be careful who gets their hands on the material. That’s where Greg Hoskin, a proponent of “The Straw” went wrong. He should never have daydreamed in front of a Daily Sentinel reporter.