Whenever you move to a new place it usually takes some time to truly figure out what to expect from your monthly water bill.
This is especially true when moving to Las Vegas due to its location in the Mojave Desert, which is considered to be one of the driest places on the planet. I know I was a bit apprehensive with regard to our new Las Vegas water bill when we first moved here and wasn’t sure what to expect. So let’s explore the question: How much is the average Las Vegas water bill?
The average residential water bill in Las Vegas is $32.93 a month with residents paying on a tiered system depending on their overall water usage. Water bills can be higher or lower depending on many factors including number of occupants and landscaping. Water usage in Las Vegas can fluctuate greatly depending on the season.
(The above average is based on a family of four, where each person uses 100 gallons of water a day).
Table of Contents
Is Water Expensive in Las Vegas?
When we moved from the rainy Pacific Northwest (Washington state) to the dry Las Vegas Valley I thought we might really be in for it when it came to our monthly water bill. I mean lacking an abundance of water, our water bill in Las Vegas had to be much higher, right?
Wrong! What I found was the water rates per 1,000 gallons of use were significantly cheaper in Las Vegas by comparison! Who woulda thought?!
Out of the fifty largest cities in the United States, Las Vegas falls right in the middle when it comes to average water bill cost based on a usage of 7,500 gallons a month.
Las Vegas has very inexpensive water compared to cities like Atlanta, Los Angeles, Colorado Springs, Austin, and San Francisco. This is pretty wild considering a place like Atlanta, Georgia sees 10x more annual rainfall than Vegas.
It turns out that being in a dry desert community actually has advantages when it comes to water usage. Cities with abundant rainfall tend to have very lax water restrictions and use much more water, while Las Vegas is more aware of its water limitations and doesn’t waste nearly the amount of water as some other cities. This helps to keep water prices low.
We’ll talk more about the water restrictions in Las Vegas further below but suffice it to say for now that the limited restrictions make a lot of sense and aren’t really a problem for anyone living here in the Vegas valley.
Las Vegas Valley Water District Rates
Water in Las Vegas is provided by the Las Vegas Valley Water District and the rates are determined on a tiered used basis. These figures are based on having a 5/8 inch water meter which is a common size for the majority of residential homes in Las Vegas.
|Monthly Service Charge (30 Days)||Tier||Water Used|
|Cost Per 1,000 Gallons|
|$11.40||1||0 – 5,000||$1.32|
|$11.40||2||5,001 – 10,000||$2.35|
|$11.40||3||10,001 – 20,000||$3.50|
|$11.40||4||20,001 & over||$5.19|
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Here’s how this works. Every residence starts the monthly billing cycle on tier 1 and pays $1.32 per 1,000 gallons up to 5,000 gallons total. For every 1,000 gallons used in a month between 5-10K gallons the cost is $2.35.
So in effect, every residential water user starts off with the same cost but higher usage households end up paying higher rates the more water they use in a month.
Specifics Of My House That Affect Water Usage
Before I can show you my water bills, I need to point out a few things about my household that cause our water bill to be higher than average. If your household is similar to ours you’ll have a direct comparison, and if not, you’ll have a good way to gauge whether your water bill will be higher or lower than ours.
We live in a single family home on the east side of the Las Vegas valley. There are three adult occupants in my household including my wife, my son and myself. An average residential water user is expected to use 100 gallons of water a day and I’d say we fall into that category overall.
My house is located on a corner lot (8,712 sq ft.) that is larger than average for much of Las Vegas. We have a mixture of traditional and desert landscaping. For instance, we have an area of lawn in the front yard along with a variety of bushes, shrubs and a lot of graveled area. The backyard is planted 100% with drought resistant, desert landscaping.
We have sprinklers for the lawn and drip irrigation everywhere else. I estimate that our landscaping accounts for around 30% of our overall water bill.
We also have an in-ground swimming pool (approximately 12,000 gallons). I estimate that the pool makes up another 30% of our water bill. During the warmer months and the summer in particular, the amount of water evaporation in the pool is significant and accounts for a lot of our water bill during these times of the year.
During the cooler months, the amount of evaporation slows considerably but is still a factor to consider when looking at our water bills below.
Work From Home
Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that we (my wife and I) work from home. While I don’t think this has a huge effect on our water bill, it only makes sense that we’d be using at least some extra water during the day that we wouldn’t be using if we weren’t at home.
Our Las Vegas Water Bills
To help you get a full picture of our Las Vegas water bill, I’m going to show you a complete bill from our lowest usage month (January) and our highest usage month (August).
Then I’ll lay out our bills month-by-month so you can see the breakdown and find out what it is that we’re paying for water monthly on average.
Our Water Bill in January
First lets take a look at our January water bill. At $32.14 it’s the lowest bill of the year. In the month of January we are only watering the yard one day a week. You can see that we’ve been assigned to “watering group D” which only allows us to water for landscaping on Thursdays (I’ll get into more detail about water groups and watering schedules further below).
The billing breakdown shows that we’ve only used water in the Tier #1 & Tier #2 pricing ranges and have only used around 4,000 gallons of water total for the month. I also want to point out that the bill shows us what size the water meter is for our address (5/8″).
January is what I consider our “base” water usage. This is what my three person household uses for showers, laundry and to run the dishwashing machine (these are our main uses of water this month).
Finally, you can get a quick idea about how much our water usage changes throughout the year by looking at the graph. You’ll see the big change for summer in Las Vegas in our August water bill which I’ll show you next.
Our Water Bill in August
In stark contrast to our relatively low January bill, is our August Las Vegas water bill coming in at $87.70. In August, we used over 20,000 gallons of water and dipped into Tier #3. Well, more than dipped actually, we used over 9,000 gallons of Tier 3 water.
If January is considered our “base” water usage at 4,000 gallons and August is our highest water usage at over 20,000 gallons, you can see just how much additional water we use during the summer in Las Vegas!
This additional water usage is made up entirely of landscaping irrigation and evaporation from the pool.
Our landscaping in the summer requires that we water using our drip irrigation system 2x every day and even then it’s touch and go for some of the plants. Our small lawn requires water every night as well, to survive.
This only serves to underscore just how hot and dry summers are in Las Vegas. Since moving here, I’ve removed a lot of plants from the yard that weren’t suited to desert living and required too much water. I’ve also replaced several others with more drought resistant varieties.
So the obvious conclusion here is that if you don’t have a landscaped yard and don’t have a pool, your water bill in Las Vegas will probably be a whole lot less than ours is during the summer. But I wouldn’t give up the pool for anything 🙂
Our Water Bill For The Whole Year (Month-by-Month)
This chart will give you a month-by-month overview of our water bills for the entire year. The bill amounts and the total water used each month moves in a pretty smooth pattern from a low in January to a high in August and back down again.
|Month||Usage in Gallons||Water Bill Amount|
February is when I usually remove some of the water from the pool and refill, which accounts for the bump in usage in that month. Also, for some reason that I can’t figure out, we used slightly less water in the month of July.
Altogether, this makes our average monthly water bill in Las Vegas $55.25 which isn’t too bad at all. I have a relative in southern California who pays around $400 a month on their water bill for a similar usage as ours. Ouch!
Las Vegas Residential Watering Restrictions
In order to conserve water, Las Vegas Valley Water District has set some restrictions for water usage throughout the year. These restrictions only concern water used for landscaping.
The restrictions make a lot of sense and are tailored to fit the particulars of the weather and the seasons in Las Vegas. The landscape watering guidelines in the valley are as follows:
(Nov – Feb)
(March – April /
Sept – Oct)
(May – Aug)
|A||Monday||Monday, Wednesday, Friday||Monday – Saturday|
|B||Tuesday||Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday||Monday – Saturday|
|C||Wednesday||Monday, Wednesday, Friday||Monday – Saturday|
|D||Thursday||Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday||Monday – Saturday|
|E||Friday||Monday, Wednesday, Friday||Monday – Saturday|
|F||Saturday||Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday||Monday – Saturday|
The Las Vegas Valley Water District sets your watering group according to location. There is a watering schedule, like the one above, on the back of every bill so you can always keep track.
Since we’re in Watering Group D, we can water our yard in the winter months (Nov – Feb) on Thursdays. As we progress into Spring (March – April) we have three days we can water (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday). Summer (May – August) we are able to water our yard any day except Sunday.
Sunday is always a no watering day in Las Vegas, no matter where you live or which watering group you’re in. If you have an automatic watering system like this one at amazon.com, the schedule’s very easy to follow and you just have to remember to make changes to the system once every season.
An average water bill in Las Vegas of $32.93, is a lot less expensive than many other cities in the U.S. That’s pretty amazing considering many of the cities charging more for water, receive considerably more rainfall each year than Las Vegas.
As you’ve seen from my bills, however, the amount of water used in Las Vegas fluctuates a great deal from winter to summer. This is particularly true if you have a landscaped yard and/or a swimming pool.
I hope that being able to see my Las Vegas water bills have helped you to determine where your water bill will fall throughout the year depending on the specifics of your home. Thanks for reading!
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