The state released a list Friday of communities in California in which at least some homes or businesses lack water meters.
The total number of unmetered connections: More than 255,000.
Paul Rogers wrote about it in the Mercury News, pointing out that communities lacking water meters were, not surprisingly, likely to use more water than the state average.
One word of caution: Much of the information was compiled in 2012 and may already be out of date.
That’s definitely the case in Lodi. The list provided by the state says 14,846 of the 18,679 connections in Lodi lack water meters. That would mean only 21 percent are metered.
However, Lodi Director of Public Works Wally Sandelin told me for a water meter story last month that roughly two-thirds of the city has now been converted to meters.
I sent the state’s list to Sandelin on Friday and he confirmed that the city’s numbers as reported there are out of date.
Water meters are probably being installed on a daily basis somewhere, so it’s not reasonable to expect the state to have a perfectly up-to-date list. Still, If the count for Lodi is off by perhaps 6,000 connections — and if other communities have made the same progress toward conversion — then the overall 255,000-plus count could be somewhat overstated.
Of course, whether the number of unmetered connections is 255,000 or 255, it’s still amazing that anyone in California lacks a water meter in 2014, in the midst of our fourth drought in 40 years.