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Water metering across Metro Vancouver a possibility down the road

(iStock Photo)

Metro Vancouver utilities chair Darrell Mussatto says pay-by-use water is an effective way to manage consumption

METRO VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – If we don’t do something about the amount of water we’re collectively using as a region, Metro Vancouver says we may have to start paying for it by volume.

Water metering is being considered as an option to reduce consumption.

Right now, all businesses in Metro Vancouver are metered, all homes pay a flat fee, and some communities like White Rock and West Vancouver already charge home owners for water by volume.

But Utilities Chair Darrell Mussatto says down the road, it’s possible the whole region will be on a pay-by-use system, with variable rates based on the time of year.

“Once you start paying per volume, we’re able to regulate use a bit more. If you want to reduce the use, you just raise the price a bit, and people respond accordingly,” he explains.

He says it’s an effective way to manage consumption. “Each individual user would be billed accordingly. People tend to make changes when they’re hit in the pocketbook.”

For now, Mussatto says education on reducing consumption is the best option and most cost-effective.

“However, if we need to, down the road, look at how we can enhance that, we may have to look at water meters… There may come a day we use it [but we] just don’t know yet.”

We’ve been under Stage 2 restrictions in Metro Vancouver for about a week now, and Mussatto believes that’s helped to slow the draining of our reservoirs.