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Do You Know The True Cost Of Water!

Updated: Mar 12

The City of Vancouver meters water incoming and outgoing from our residential properties. The rates are set on a seasonal basis, with an increase to the cost for water during the high season - May 1 to Oct 15). To know the true cost of water we need to look at:


1. Understanding rainfall in our local area - how much rain falls during an atmospheric river? How much rain falls on average during the high season? 

2. Understanding rainwater catchment capacity in my community - who is installing rainwater catchment systems in my local area? 

3. Understanding the mental and emotional impact of summer drought conditions - how do I feel about the lack of snow this winter and how that will impact water in the municipal system this summer?


These are the true costs of water in our day to day, season to season lives.


Mount Seymour - 2024 02 05

How much does water cost? Let's answer in multiple dimensions - first and foremost, how does our water catchment system put us in touch with our west coast rain forest? How does it connect us to the seasons, the atmospheric rivers and the summer drought? Second, how does our water catchment system put us in touch with our neighbours, our community, our shared purpose to transform our human relationship to nature and the environment that sustains us? Third, how do we feel when we look at our North Shore mountains in early February, and there is no snow to fill our municipal water reservoirs? What is the cost of a good night's sleep knowing we have enough water on hand to meet our needs?


We are about to find out.


retrieved from City of Vancouver 2024-02-05 - Flat Utility Rates

Older properties that have not gone through a water connection upgrade (prior to Jan 2012) will be on the flat rate billing. Water connections after January 2012 are based on consumption.


The consumption rate we are charged for water use changes seasonally, based on supply.


retrieved from City of Vancouver 2024-02-05 - Water rates change seasonally.

Water and sewer rates are measured in units: 


https://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/metered-rates.aspx

Seasonal water and sewer rates are posted at the CoV:


https://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/metered-rates.aspx

The City of Vancouver provides a breakdown for how to read your utility bill to understand your current water consumption and sewer discharge.


To understand how much our water costs, we need to look at our past utility bills. For example, 


we reviewed the utility billings from the City of Vancouver for the years 2022, 2023 for a residential single family dwelling with a basement suite. 


In the year 2022, utilities billings totalled 645.28.

In the year 2023, utilities billings totalled 775.13


Between 2022 and 2023 the utility billings increased 20%.


Is this an anomaly? Is it the beginning of a trend?


We have many more calculations to run to figure out the value cost of installing a water catchment system. Those calculations are monetary, they are also practical and spiritual.


What does it feel like to have one's own water supply on hand to make sure there is enough water to keep the garden thriving during a heat dome and provide a watering hole for the wild animals that need a drink? How does it feel to have a water trough by the sidewalk that children can play in as their parents pass by on their summer evening walk? 




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