Move forward with “smart meters” if they really are necessary, and encourage efficient and smart use of water for sustainable gardening in our community, is what I say.
I also strongly agree with the comments and insight of Francois Lepine, who wrote to the editor Nov. 5 to examine and report on the so-called “water problem” in the Comox Valley.
Given the advent of modern technology, the input of intelligent thinking and planning, and the efficient use of water to grow vegetation, especially plants and trees that give something back, in the way of nutritious food for people, it would be a step backwards for local government to penalize and thwart people from having fruit, nut, berry, and vegetable gardens in their own yards, if they charge people extra for “wasting” water by using it to water plants that make a difference, and discourage this practice.
Moving away from the 100 Mile Diet to the 100-foot seasonal diet is a positive step in the right direction, and if meters are deemed necessary, then they should be “smart meters” that show what time of day/night the water is being used.
People who have invested in smart computer-controlled irrigation systems, that can be used in the wee hours, at the greatest efficiency possible, should be given credit for their thoughtfulness, and investment, and charged a reduced amount to water at night.
My system was very well thought out by the pro who installed it, and the little bit of lawn areas I have only get watered as a consequence of the bedding areas (where I grow fruit, nuts, and berries, and flowering ornamentals) getting watered, and the vegetable garden getting watered, and it is all done at the most efficient times in the wee hours just before dawn.
To charge people extra for water use beyond a certain designated amount, despite the time of day, is patently unfair, and a step backwards, especially if that water is being used for smart production of local food, to decrease the reliance on foods shipped from great distances away with a huge carbon footprint!
Meter if you must, but make it fair, and make it smart, because the opposite will stymie the efforts of conscientious people trying to do the right things in their everyday lives to reduce their carbon footprints.
Take two steps forward for real progress, instead of one step forward, and two steps backward, for a pseudo-responsible regulatory policy change.
Editor’s note: Stewart McIntosh is a retired ISA-certified arborist and a former BC Hydro utility arborist.