The West Travis County Public Utility Agency Board of Directors, meeting in Bee Cave on May 15, unanimously passed a 20 percent drought surcharge for both wholesale and retail customers across all rate classes effective July 2014.

The surcharge affects only the volumetric rate—the portion of a residential bill that is based on consumption—and not the minimum rate.

"Residents have control over the net impact to them [of the surcharge] because they have control over their consumption," WTCPUA rate consultant Nelisa Heddin said.

She said she believes that the WTCPUA is the first Central Texas agency to implement a drought surcharge.