'Most will benefit' from water meters

Last updated 05:00 06/03/2014

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Kapiti Coast District Council predicts 65 per cent of households are likely to pay less for water when meters are introduced this year.

It announced its proposed new water rate on Tuesday, based on a $188.50 fixed charge for all households and a price of 95 cents for each cubic metre of water used.

The charges will apply once water metering begins on July 1.

According to the council's figures, the average household will end up paying about $388 a year, compared with $357 now.

However, it said yesterday that, based on actual meter readings, 65 per cent of households were likely to pay less in 2014-15 than if the uniform annual charge still applied.

Mayor Ross Church believed the 95c rate was cheap.

"We are giving people, for a dollar, a cubic metre of water - that is 50 buckets of water."

Chief executive Pat Dougherty stressed the original reason for introducing water meters was to change water-use habits.

"It is inevitable there will be some people who are going to pay more for water but, as part of a fairer system, [it will be] based on use."

In other regions where water meters were used, peak demand - the most water used in a single day during the year - had dropped by about 25 per cent, he said.

"By reducing consumption, council is able to defer $36 million of capital expenditure that would have been spent on upgrading the water supply system to meet increasing demand."

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- The Dominion Post

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