Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Water usage around the country.

Langley had a link to this article yesterday. I thought it was very enlightening.
The average water use, per person, in the GVRD has dropped to 559 litres per day from 728 litres per day in 1986.

Langley Township and City both use less water.

The City's average daily use was 463 litres in 2005, and water use there has been very consistent as far back as the year 2000. In most years, the average City resident uses between 460 and 485 litres per day.

However, that average number is actually driven up by some industrial and farm uses, said Graham Flack, the City's deputy director of corporate services.

The average household in the City uses just 330 litres per day.

"As far as I know, we're one of the lowest users in the GVRD," said Flack.

He attributes the low City water use to metering, which has been in place across the board for decades. City residents pay $0.79 per cubic metre of water, - the bill arriving with their property tax notices.

The Township is broken up into three regions based on its three main water systems.

In Northwest Langley, including Walnut Grove, water use is about 550 litres per day, the highest in Langley. Brookswood/Murrayville sees 420 litres per day, and Aldergrove is the lowest at just 340 litres per day.

The Northwest and Brookswood areas are run through the GVRD, while the Aldergrove system is not connected to the regional system. Local wells are a key feature of the systems.

While that means the Township is a good user of water compared to other Lower Mainland communities, it's far above what people consume in Europe, where the cost of tap water is far higher.

Berlin, Germany has an average daily consumption of 160 litres per water, according to Badelt's numbers.
City of Windsor Average use - 294 cm metres per year - 24.5 cm per month.

City of Langley - 15.03 cm per month

Township of Langley - Northwest Langley - 17.05 cm per month

Township of Langley - Brookswood - 13.02 cm per month

Township of Langley - Aldergrove - 10.54 cm per month

Berlin, Germany - 4.96 cm per month

I think I'm going to start a spreadsheet at Google Spreadsheets and start tracking average usage data as I come across it.

From the comments at Langley

SP, my expert staff at Township Hall pass along the following...

Does the GVRD/GVWD allocate/quota water supplies?
* Yes, the Township has maximum daily flow specified by the GVRD. We are currently well below this flow.

Does it charge municipalities by the megalitre or is the supply effectively "free"?
* Yes, the GVRD charges roughly $0.35 / megalitre. The charge is scheduled to increase steadily over the next five year to recoup increased treatment costs.

I know of course member municipalities can charge a water tax (whether flat or consumption-based), does this revenue directly flow into the municipalities' revenue stream or is there some sort of mechanism where the GVRD/GVWD receives a portion of such revenues?

* A portion of the water utility revenue (roughly one-third) is used to pay for GVRD water at the megalitre rate mentioned above. The is also a portion of development cost charges that go to the GVRD for water/sewer improvements.

Finally, since about 30% of the township actually uses GVRD/GVWD water, is there differential pricing based on water source?
* No, all residents on municipal water pay the same flat rate (~$280/year). It would be very difficult to differentiate pricing, as the areas that received GVRD water also use groundwater.