They don't call this "the high desert" for nothing. Scant rainfall (about the same as Los Angeles gets) means Central Oregon depends on winter snowpack for most of its water. And it means that conserving water is an imperative.
Faced with the need to raise $50 million to improve Bend's water system, the city staff came up with a plan to encourage conservation by creating a rate structure in which heavy users would pay more per gallon. But under pressure from business interests, including Bend's Only Daily Newspaper, the city council backed away from this sensible and environmentally responsible plan.
Here's hoping the idea will be revived someday soon - and here's a GLASS SLIPPER to the city staff for sticking with it.