The Water War – Part III

The last water bill came in and I’m fairly pleased with the results after installing my low flush toilet. My total usage was 13.2 cubic meters over 33 days or around 400 L per day. For comparison in 1998 in Canada the average personal water usage was 343 L per person per day. So at 400 L per day for a family of three my average is 133 L per person per day. The cost came in just under $50 for the month which is about a normal cost, but compared to my last bill the current bill a longer bill cycle by four days.

Perhaps the most annoying thing looking at my water bill is realizing I’m being charged $0.90 per day regardless of how much water I use for base charges. Therefore almost $30 of my last bill was base charges. So even if I doubled my water usage my bill would only go up around $20.

Talk about a poor system to encourage water savings. Here is an idea that cities should look at. Cut my base charges in half and then increase the usage fee to ensure your average bill doesn’t change. That way people who have reduced water usage would get some savings, while the water hogs would get hosed on their bill. After all won’t the city save money by not having to install new infrastructure for higher water usage rates?

5 thoughts on “The Water War – Part III”

  1. That reminds me of my July gas bill. Our usage was nil, though we still paid $20-30 for delivery fees, transmission costs, etc. That’s fairly significant for “infrastructure” costs. I agree that usage fees should go up.. otherwise why would people ever change their ways?

  2. I like your idea…using both a carrot and a stick. I wonder what response you would get if you sent your suggestion to the mayor?

  3. Governments (and utilities) are great at sending mixed messages.

    I recall in Calgary when they started their recycling pickup programme. They wanted to encourage recycling (and discourage landfill use) but were going to charge extra to pickup the recycling whereas the regular trash was free.

  4. CM,

    Not a bad idea. I should run the idea past the city.


    I agree totally with your statement. Governments at all levels are great at mixed messages.


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