CRD Water Supply Commission to Consider Modest Water Rate Increase

Sep 16, 2009

Victoria, BC – The Capital Regional District Water Supply Commission is considering the implementation of a modest water rate increase in 2010.

The rate, likely to be in the order of $2.50 for a total of $14 per month for the average household, would accommodate a number of factors in the delivery of drinking water to the residents of the Capital Region. Water use rates are influenced by infrastructure renewal costs, demand management programs, 2009 water use volume and the 2010 budget for operational and maintenances  expenditures. In the last year, the Commission invested $29 million into capital infrastructure.

“Infrastructure projects in recent years have been significant, including the Sooke Reservoir expansion, the Goldstream Dams rehabilitation, replacements of two transmission mains, construction of a UV disinfection plant and seismic upgrading of several facilities and pipelines,” said Chair of the Water Commission Nils Jensen. “This doesn’t include the purchase, for $59 million, of the Leech Water Supply area.” Infrastructure investments of over $150 million will ensure an adequate, reliable source of safe drinking water from a fully functioning system, which places the CRD in a stable situation in comparison to many jurisdictions across Canada.

A key factor in environmental sustainability involves the reduction of water use across the region. Demand management programs reduce the growth in water demand through water conservation and rebate programs for the purchase of water saving appliances and devices. These programs provide excellent incentives for conservation of this precious resource, ensuring an adequate supply of water into the future.

Demand management has also allowed for the deferral of the diversion of the Leech River to increase water supply, saving $150 million in capital expenditures and $3 million in operating costs; expansion to the Leech is not now now planned until after 2050.

“The Commission will be looking closely at the 2010 budget to ensure that any rate increase is kept to a minimum,” said Jensen. “We are committed to supplying safe and secure water to residents at affordable rates.”

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For further information please contact:
Sheila Taylor, Manager, Community Relations
CRD Corporate Communications           
Tel: 250.360.3308