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19 March 2013The future introduction of universal water metering will be a win-win for the Waipa District as people will only pay for what they use and it will be hugely beneficial in managing demand, says Service Delivery Manager Barry Bergin.
Waipa District Council included a plan to introduce universal water metering across the district from 2016 following consultation with the community, and the hearing of submissions, as part of the 10-Year Plan process.
Mr Bergin said the current drought emphasised the need for water to be managed sustainably all-year round and metering would be one of the best tools to allow that to happen.
“While Waipa residents have been really responsive to our water conservation programme, the prolonged hot, dry period has certainly brought with it concerns about the protection of such a precious resource, particularly when droughts are predicted to become more frequent due to climate change” said Mr Bergin.
“There is an increase in cost and in management impact of providing more capacity in our water system to meet increase in demand and the move to universal water metering is $6.5 million in a $73 million capital works programme over 10 years to ensure a secure water supply for our district moving forward,” he said.
There was also a regulatory requirement for the council to manage water sustainably.
“Water meters have been used in a number of other districts for a number of years and in some cases there has been a noticeable reduction in peak demand,” said Mr Bergin.
“This has bought with it a number of cost benefits for those councils, and for their residents, and we can expect the same with our estimated water use reduction of between 15 to 25 percent,” he said.
A move to water meters would be consistent with Waipa District Council’s user pays philosophy.
“At the moment the majority of our urban ratepayers pay a fixed charge for their water. That means those who only use a small amount of water pay the same as those who use a lot of water,” said Mr Bergin.
“A move to meters will ensure that people only pay for the amount they use, like residents currently do in Pirongia and Ohaupo” he said.
“Water is a precious resource and as a growing district and we all need to be committed to ensuring it is safe, clean, and used wisely in the most cost effective way.”
ENDSFor further information contactLisa NairneSenior Communications AdvisorPh: 07 872 0062 or 027 532 1760 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org