Victoria, BC– The Regional Water Supply Commission will recommend to the CRD Board as part of the 2016 budget process that the 2016 wholesale water rate be set at $0.6375 per cubic metre, effective January 1, 2016, a 1.93% increase over the 2015 wholesale rate.
The increase in the wholesale water rate equates to an annual increase of approximately $2.84 per household (for an average household using 235 cubic metres of water per year). Each year the Regional Water Supply Commission determines its rates after considering the amount of money required to deliver services, manage assets, and complete capital improvements. The CRD Board will make the decision on the proposed increase and adjust bylaws as required.[sam id=”15″ codes=”true”]The 2016 increase is necessary as a result of:
- Minor increases in operating expenses associated with water supply system operation, maintenance and repair costs, adjustments to the cross connection control program, and provincial water licencing fee changes.
- Debt expenditures associated with on-going capital infrastructure upgrades and replacement, and the purchase of the Leech Water Supply Area.
- Agricultural rate funding of $1 million to offset the cost of water consumption for agricultural customers.
- Adjustments to the budgeted total water demand (water consumed across the Greater Victoria area) to reflect the continuing decline in demand.
“As a result of many years of infrastructure investments and responsible financial management of resources, the Regional Water Supply System is not facing the severe infrastructure deficit that many local government utilities are facing across Canada,” said Mervyn Lougher-Goodey, Chair of the Regional Water Supply Commission.
The Regional Water Supply Commission has been proactive in confronting water supply system infrastructure challenges and has invested more than $130 million into infrastructure renewal projects and programs since 1995, to ensure an adequate source of water and a safe and reliable water disinfection and transmission system. There were additional revenues in 2015 resulting from higher than budgeted demand this summer, which are being used to fund current capital projects and lessen the amount of funding required through loans and long-term debt.[sam id=”21″ codes=”true”]“The delivery of clean, safe drinking water is essential to our everyday life and rate increases are necessary to support this,” said Nils Jensen, CRD Board Chair. “This summer’s drought served as a reminder of the critical nature of our water supply and we encourage residents to continue practicing water conservation.”
Feedback on the proposed 2016 water rate increase can be provided via email at email@example.com. Comments will be correlated and provided to the Board as part of the budget planning process.
The CRD is a local government that delivers 200+ regional, sub-regional and local services for residents of the region which includes 13 municipalities and three electoral areas within 2370 square kilometres on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24 member Board of Directors, the CRD is working to serve the public, and build a vibrant, livable and sustainable region.