Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Today's Letter to the Editor

New levies discourage water conservation
Published: Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Many thanks to all the letter writers, both pro and con who have written about the recent Flush to Vote campaign.

Thanks to the attention from local media, the campaign was a success in raising awareness of the many issues surrounding the 2007 Windsor Utilities commission rate hike.

To those who claim it was nothing more than a waste I would say the insignificant amount that may have been used pales in comparison to the daily waste encouraged by the current low usage rate in Windsor.

At 26.6 cents per cubic metre, Windsor has the lowest usage rate in the entire province.

To flush one 20-litre toilet uses the equivalent of a half cent of water.

To flush that same toilet in Kitchener would cost 2.4 cents, London would run you 2.5 cents for under 16 cubic metres of use and 2.7 cents after that.

Windsor's reliance on low water usage rates and high fixed charges does more to encourage waste and discourage any sort of conservation than anything our campaign may have done.

A person reducing their monthly water usage by three cubic metres in Windsor would save a measly $2.43. In Kitchener the same reduction would save you almost three times that amount, $7.12, while London clocks in at $7.33 in savings.

Even if someone wanted to drastically reduce their water usage to alleviate Windsor's recent 60 per cent rate hike, the effort would have a minimal impact on their bill. Instead of assisting seniors and others on fixed incomes to reduce their water usage and save money, we will now create yet another program that will require more of your money in the form of subsidies or relief assistance.

The question to ask city council is why are users willing to conserve water forced to subsidize those who are not?