OUR VIEW: Water metering needs to start now

Water meters, you say?

We’ll drink to that – a nice tall drink of cold, fresh water.

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Word that the City of New Westminster is considering a water metering program comes as welcome news to those residents who have long been on the conservation bandwagon.

Under the existing flat-fee system, there’s no financial incentive for residents and homeowners to use water responsibly. You can take every environmentally responsible step possible and still end up paying the same amount for your water use as the guy down the block who insists on watering his lawn every day, leaving his taps running unattended and spraying his hose full force to clean his car and sidewalk.

New Westminster Environmental Partners has been lobbying the city to implement a voluntary water metering program for single-family homes – a plan that was floated eight years ago but didn’t catch on at the time.

This time out, we’re guessing the idea is going to gain traction with more than just the green crowd.

Having just come off the driest summer in the recorded history of British Columbia, and having lived through months of restricted water use, the issue of water conservation is top of mind for most of us.

More than ever before, we understand that the water we use each and every day is precious. We understand that there are ways to use that water more responsibly. And, above all, we understand more clearly than we ever have that water conservation starts with small steps taken in each and every one of our homes and gardens.

All of which means there’s no better time to do what should have been done years ago.

We get that there’s a cost attached to implementing water meters.

But there’s a far bigger long-term cost attached to not using our water resources responsibly.

We hope the city will choose to move ahead with the Environmental Partners’ suggestion and start water metering sooner rather than later. It simply makes sense to make us all aware of water use – and there’s no better way to raise awareness than by hitting us square in the wallet.

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