Mesquite is one of 13 cities who are members of the NTMWD. In the simplest terms, the 13 member cities share the cost of water production using a concept called the Total Annual Minimum (TAM). The TAM is based on the highest yearly total amount of water ever used by a city and is never lowered. The TAM of all 13 member cities is added together, and then each member city's proportionate share is calculated as a percentage. The Mesquite TAM share results in the City paying approximately $12 million annually to the NTMWD regardless of how much water we use.
So in effect, if the city does not use the same amount of water it has ever used at its highest amount, we are still charged for that highest amount - essentially paying for water we do not use. In 2015, we only used 65 percent of our TAM, but we had to pay the full 100 percent. Mesquite has no choice but to pass on the excess water rates charged by the NTMWD to city utility customers via higher water rates.