Valid reasons for metered water rates

Dear editor,

Congratulations to Bruce Jolliffe and Edwin Grieve, Area A and C CVRD directors, for holding the line on two-tier water rates in Area B.

Without good clean water we die. In Canada, we feel entitled to unlimited quantities of low-cost treated water, we consider it a basic right. We have to change that mindset to value and preserve our treated water. The only way to do that is to meter household water, and to establish a rate and volume of water that meets household needs and encourages people to use less treated water. If a household wants to use more water they pay for more at a higher rate.  User pays. It is fair.

There are metered households in Area B that pay less for their water than they do in Courtenay and Comox. They pay the first tier rate.  A Veritec July 2014 leakage report (available online at CVRD) stated that Courtenay loses over $685,000 and Comox over $100,000 a year of treated water because of leaking pipes. Water metered Area B met the lowest minimum standard of water loss. Municipalities can’t manage their water to customers without meters to measure it.

Treated water is a product delivered to households like metered electricity or natural gas. If the water is not metered, householders will not know the amount of water they use and the CVRD cannot measure whether there are leaks in their system or the householder’s. I know of no other product that people can purchase in an unlimited, unmeasured amount except for water in Courtenay and Comox.

I applaud Bruce Jolliffe and Edwin Grieve for understanding the value of treated water and supporting a system that will manage treated water into the future.

Learn more about your local water at the Saturday, May 7 water forum, noon to 2 p.m. at the Comox Rec Centre.

Jim Gillis

Area B