What's New

The Capital Regional District (CRD) invites members of the public and development community to provide feedback on the proposed Regional Water Supply Development Cost Charge program that will help fund eligible growth-related drinking water projects serving Greater Victoria.

About the Regional Water Supply

The CRD's Regional Water Supply (RWS) service delivers safe and sustainable drinking water to more than 400,000 people living in Greater Victoria. The CRD is responsible for protecting the source, disinfecting the water, monitoring water quality, operating and maintaining the transmission system and investing in infrastructure renewal.

The Regional Water Supply Service delivers drinking water to customers living in 13 local municipalities, eight First Nations and the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area through a mix of sub-regional and local distribution systems.

What are Development Cost Charges?

As per the Development Cost Charge Best Practice Guide, a development cost charge is a means provided by the Local Government Act to assist local governments in paying the capital costs of installing certain local government services, the installation of which is directly or indirectly affected by the development of lands and or the alteration or extension of buildings.

How Development Cost Charges Work

Development cost charges (DCCs) are charged by local governments at the subdivision stage when creating new single-family lots, or at the building permit stage for multi-family, commercial, industrial, and institutional development.

The collection and usage of DCCs are legislated under the Local Government Act and the accompanying DCC Best Practices Guide, which outlines project eligibility requirements. DCCs cannot be used to fund any projects that do not meet the eligibility requirements.

Why We Need a Regional Water Supply Development Cost Charge Program

There is no current DCC bylaw for the Regional Water Supply service. Without a program and bylaw in place, implications attributed to growth—such as increased sizing of water system assets—are paid for by current RWS service customers through increased water rates.

The RWS 2022 Master Plan identified approximately $2 billion in capital upgrades over the next 30 years, a portion of which is contributed to estimated population growth. DCCs would be a crucial funding mechanism to support the construction of these large-scale infrastructure projects.

The  program was identified in the RWS 2017 Strategic Plan and the CRD's 2023-2026 Corporate Plan as a key driver to fund future growth-related water infrastructure improvements.

Many local governments in BC have established DCC Programs in place, including most municipalities in Greater Victoria.

Draft Development Cost Charges

As of September 2023 the draft RWS DCC collection units and rates are as follows:

Development Category Collection Unit Proposed Rate (1% MAF**)
Low density residential (single family) per lot $9,044
Medium density multi family (duplex and townhouses) per unit $7,914
High density multi family (apartments and condos) per unit $5,087
Commercial per GFA* (m2) $33.92
Industrial per GFA (m2) $16.96
Institutional per GFA (m2) $73.48

* GFA = Gross Floor Area
** MAF = Municipal Assist Factor 

Completed to Date

  • 2017 - The RWS 2017 Strategic Plan identified the exploration of RWS DCCs as a strategic priority to fund future growth-related infrastructure improvements
  • 2021 - CRD retained a consultant to explore RWS DCCs and to develop preliminary program details
  • April 2023 – The CRD 2023-2026 Corporate Plan was endorsed by the CRD Board. The Corporate Plan identifies the implementation of RWS DCCs as a priority
  • May 2023 – Draft rates and bylaw presented to the Regional Water Supply Commission (RWSC) and the RWSC endorsed the continuation of the project to the consultation phase
  • Fall-Winter 2023 – The CRD met with staff from all member municipalities to confirm municipal growth estimates and to inform of the RWS DCC program
  • Fall-Winter 2023 – The CRD met with Mayors and Councils from all member municipalities to inform them of the DCC program, to allow for discussion and to answer any immediate questions
  • Spring 2024 – Presentation of draft RWS DCC program and a summary of initial feedback received  to be presented to the Regional Water Supply Commission

Next Steps 

  • Spring/Summer 2024 – Public and  development community engagement
  • Summer 2024 – Presentation to the Regional Water Supply Commission to finalize program details
  • Fall 2024 – Presentation to CRD Board and three readings of RWS DCC bylaw
  • Fall 2024 – Submission of the background report and bylaw to the Provincial Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for approval
  • Winter 2024 – Fourth reading and bylaw adoption by CRD Board 
  • Winter 2025 –  Implementation of RWS DCC program