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Water meters fine, inequity in Comox Valley not
I reside in the Comox Valley Regional District and am a water meter/user pay supporter, even though we have a .41-acre lot and have many gardens.
We use a substantial amount of water in the drier months, although we have reduced consumption about 30 per cent by modifying our automatic sprinkling system to focus on a gardens and shrubs. The grass is hand-watered now.
A few of my neighbours have discovered, and repaired, water leaks in service piping on their properties, as a result of metering and huge "mock water bills." I'm aware that more than a million gallons of previously wasted water is now available for other customers.
Unfortunately, many other customers in Courtenay and Comox don't know that they are wasting water.
A number of rural water customers have been discussing water meter rates with the CVRD.
We made a proposal for an interim rate structure that would see some equity with Courtenay and Comox customers on the same water system. The CVRD directors rejected our proposal.
At that meeting, I asked our three area directors to provide leadership and work with neighbouring politicians to implement universal water metering. The response was that they have no influence on the Comox Valley water committee.
I find it bizarre that the CVRD is requesting more water, when they have only have influence over 10 per cent of the water use.
I don't mind paying for the water we use.
However, when I checked the water consumption use on the Town of Comox website, I note that some metered customers within the town limits use much more water than I do, and pay a low flat rate of $327 per year.
I will pay much more for less water, from the same source. Be that as it may, there is lot of water wasted in Courtenay and Comox by undetected leaks. As well, I'm not aware of any program to systematically detect and repair leaks in the CVRD water distribution system.
There needs to be much more done to eliminate wasted water, before granting more water to the Comox Valley.
We are blessed with a reliable, unlimited customer-use water supply — we can't waste it while many rural neighbours have limited water supplies. Many have no piped water.
I suggest that the Province could be more helpful in developing a water conservation plan for the use of Comox Lake/Puntledge River water. It is apparent that universal water metering and leak detection/repair needs to be part of the plan.