Water restrictions unnecessary

Dear editor,

As the CVRD moves to Stage 2 and reduced watering hours, I wonder why this is necessary? Comox Lake is nearly full and our neighbours to the north in Campbell River continue to be on Stage 1, as they were during the last year’s drought.

Similar water supplies, but very different approaches. It seems still a mystery that brown lawns saved little water last year in the Comox Valley, on Stage 3.

The Town of Comox is taking the mystery out of water metering and water consumption. They are working smarter to implement water meters and user pay to those who use less than 250 m3 per year, who will pay less than the $327 flat rate. Wondering if this is why in Comox , many residents have chosen to go brown.

It seems that about half the residents would pay a lower rate if they do not maintain landscaping. While I respect that this a personal choice, there are many properties in the Comox Valley that are alive and vibrant on the same water supply.

Collectively, taxpayers are funding irrigation of green parks and playing fields, which is a good thing. There is no shortage of water.

An interesting aspect of the Comox approach is that less than 10 per cent of those with meters installed have volunteered to sign up for user pay. It is also very interesting that the average annual consumption of water per metered customer has changed very little from 2013,2014, 2015 and into 2016.  Water meters do not save water, without user pay and tiered rates, it seems. Is this surcharge approach necessary  on the Comox Lake water system? Do we really need to go brown?

I appreciate the transparent approach that Comox has taken with meters and their website and would like to see the same sort of transparency and information sharing by the CVRD.

Stating that lake inflows are lower than outflows is not justification for Stage 2 restrictions –and where did all the Stage 3  water go last year?

Phil Harrison

Area B

 

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