Comox Valley water not 'stolen' during winter months

Dear editor,

Re: A solution for Comox Valley rural water billing.

I would like to follow up on a letter to the editor from R. Mcculloch (Record, March 17) regarding the rate structure for the billing of water in the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) electoral areas.

Mr. Mcculloch’s first concern was that rural homeowners were being billed for 15 cubic metres of water whether they used it or not.

To clarify this point, the rate includes a minimum monthly charge that every user pays for up to 15 cubic metres. This portion of the rate helps cover the fixed cost of the water system.

In addition, the letter mentions that homeowners need to use more water in the spring and summer for use on their lawns and gardens and yet homeowners will be charged a higher rate for exceeding the 15 cubic metres.

In fact, the CVRD billing cycle was designed to ensure that July and August were invoiced in two separate cycles. There’s a 60-cubic-metre allotment for April through July, which can be shared over these months.

Similarly, the 60-cubic-metre allotment can be shared over the next billing cycle — August through November. The two highest-consumption months, July and August, are in two separate billing cycles, which allows for spreading water costs over the lower water use months before and after the summer.

In the winter months, the water is not “stolen.” Rather, it is a minimum monthly charge that is independent of the volume used. At this time, the water rate billing structure is not being reviewed by the electoral area services committee.

Marc Rutten, PEng,

(Editor's note: Marc Rutten is a senior manager with the Comox Valley Regional district.)


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