Water charges

November 18th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Danya Levy at Stuff reports:

Opposition parties are urging the Government to establish a regime to charge major fresh water users such as farmers.

The Land and Water Forum yesterday released its third and final report into how fresh water should be used and allocated.

The group of more than 60 organisations has been looking at the issue since 2009 but failed to reach a consensus on charging commercial water users.

Primary Industries Minister David Carter said the report provided a “solid foundation” on how water could be better allocated for high-value use, and how councils and communities could actively manage water quality in their areas. It also called for clearer accountabilities for resource managers and users.

Labour’s Environment spokesperson Grant Robertson said the report did not explicitly advocate resource rentals for water, but allowed for a regime that would see a “fair price” paid by major users.

Labour wanted such a regime developed in consultation with relevant parties.

If a resource is scarce or even limited, then a charge for its use is sensible and something I support. I think we should have all homes on water meters.

Farms with irrigation do not tend to use an intermediary such as a water supply company. They often get it direct from a river. In that case some charge is still appropriate, but it should be more modest and reflect the actual impact on the river and other users. If the impact is minimal, the charge should be also. But some cost can be appropriate.

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21 Responses to “Water charges”

  1. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Don’t talk to me about water. Under the Super City our water charges have trebled in very short order to over $150 per month.

    Thanks a lot, Rodney!

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  2. bhudson (4,741 comments) says:

    I think we should have all homes on water meters.

    Only if rates are reduced by the value of fair water usage per household at the same time. Else all you will achieve is increased taxation by stealth.

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  3. Griff (8,199 comments) says:

    All the result will be is a transfer from the productive to IWI
    As soon as water right have a cost Maori will be trying to claim a share

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  4. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Griff

    No the Iwi wont charge for the water but they will will charge for use of the river bed, as per Lake Taupo

    Water charges will cripple many dairy farmers, and before the greenies wank on, with out dairy we are rooted

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  5. Rab McDowell (6 comments) says:

    Most people in cities pay a water charge. What most of the people in this debate over water charges for “major water users” forget, or never even think about, is that those city people do not pay for their water. What they pay for is the cost the Council incurred in consents, construction costs, pipes, digging up roads, maintenance, filtering and treating the water and bringing it to their door.
    Irrigators may not pay for water in their rates but that does not mean they get it free. They paid all those costs themselves and, for many of them, the cost is well over a thousand times more per year than the city dweller pays. The ultimate in user pays.

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  6. mikenmild (11,776 comments) says:

    Be fair Luc, that’s because you voted in the wrong mayor. If Banksie had won, the government would have rained cash on the city. But you had to go a pick someone that the Key government don’t like, so it’s ‘raise your own money, Auckland’.

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  7. bhudson (4,741 comments) says:

    You’re getting a bit desperate now mikey. Are you a bit upset with Cunliffe’s win over the leadership remit? A bit concerned that Grant’s glittering career and climb to the top might be heading south now?

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  8. mikenmild (11,776 comments) says:

    What? What’s that all about?

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  9. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    There’s only one problem in nz water isn’t a scarce resource. So charging for it is a money making scam. But if you have a tank they rack,up the waste water charge to compensate.

    Luc is correct water is increasing massively after the pay monthly scam.

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  10. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    One of the hidden problems with using underground water is that its not being replaced.

    That mean several things.
    1. It will run out
    2. The more that its lowered then the more likely contaminants will get into it

    and most important

    3. Where does all this water thats pumped out of the ground go…..?

    It goes into the oceans.

    and what does that do?

    It raises the sea level. !!!!!!

    At least a third of the current sea level rise is due to taking underground water and effectively dumping it into the oceans.

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  11. Reid (16,634 comments) says:

    Farms with irrigation do not tend to use an intermediary such as a water supply company. They often get it direct from a river. In that case some charge is still appropriate,

    Why? Apart from the fact the current regime actually works, no-one complains particularly, the water’s available to all and these users earn money so why charge them anything for using something that there’s no current problem with and earns the whole country money?

    Last I heard, no-one in the whole country complains they don’t have enough water, so who cares how its used.

    I sympathise with Luc, I’ve always thought the MetroWater model was mental, from day one. Why the hell setup a commercial operation in a water company? That’s the most mental thing ever, yet fools imagine that they should do that. I mean why. All you can do with water is supply it and drain it. It’s the wastewater drainage that costs the most, but essentially its a fixed network that has no growth opportunity at all apart from upgrading the pipes. That’s it. That’s the only thing you can do. You can’t advertise to sell more water to make more cash, I mean how? So you can’t market the operation is what I’m saying. There is zero growth opportunity apart from charging the market what it will bear for no particular reason other than, because it can, since you can’t get it from anywhere else. Which is totally what they do. Isn’t it. For no reason at all. What benefit are you getting, for each time it increases? Normally it’s ever glitzier pamphlets explaining the increase. They make it all worthwhile.

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  12. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    There is only one thing behind the water resource scam. That is raising taxes.

    Ground water contributing to sea level rise. Utter crap.

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  13. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    @ Barry..and what does that do?it raises the sea level. !!!!!!
    At least a third of the current sea level rise is due to taking underground water and effectively dumping it into the oceans………………………..

    No Baz, sorry Baz, FFS Baz..Where’s Griff when you need him, he’s going to be well pised off when he learns global warming has nothing to do with ‘rising sea levels” – its just that the sea is getting filled up, which to my mind makes it crucial that the cockies grab as much as they can to wash down their sheds etc , they will be averting a global catastrophe

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  14. Griff (8,199 comments) says:

    Its balanced by dams holding water back from the sea. We should hold more back and build more hydro :grin:
    More water for irrigation as well. Ready for the cow cockys to make more milk with.

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  15. wiseowl (936 comments) says:

    With the greatest respect when I read comments about this issue my blood boils.If you have no understanding of an issue it is best to keep quiet.
    We have plenty of water in this country and many of our aquifers are fantastic supplies that are recharged continuously.The requirement for water meters on takes (bought in by Nick Smith) is an absolutely stupid exercise doing nothing but penalising the productive sector yet again and it is only going to spawn a whole new industry of bureacrats who will play with figures and achieve nothing.
    Any attempt to charge the productive sector for water will be another backward step.
    No one irrigating wants to over irrigate.No one paying for diesel or electricity wants to spend any extra on fuel or power.No one wants to spend more time on irrigating than they have to.
    The water forum is an opportunity for parties to create another industry for themselves.

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  16. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Kevin (1,083) Says:
    November 18th, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Ground water contributing to sea level rise. Utter crap.

    Jeez, just when we find some common ground you go and spoil it with scientific ignorance!

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  17. Colville (2,300 comments) says:

    I am a fan of meters. User pays. I am sitting in my beach house on the east coast in a small town with a fu*ked water supply. The “locals” who live here still irrigate lawns and gardens despite watering bans, we “out of towners” just get to pay for it all.

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  18. Steve (North Shore) (4,591 comments) says:

    barry at 2.48pm
    “3. Where does all this water thats pumped out of the ground go…..?

    It goes into the oceans.

    and what does that do?

    It raises the sea level. !!!!!!”

    You want to fix this real bad Barry, I suggest you go to the ocean with two empty 2L plastic milk bottles. Fill them with sea water and store them under your house. That will take water out of the recycle system and lower sea levels, especialy if you tell your friends – I mean this could be huge

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  19. rg (214 comments) says:

    The argument to charge for water is so that users don’t waste the water. People who make that argument don’t realise that people like farmers already pay a considerable amount for their water in consents and pumping. I can assure you, nobody wastes water.

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  20. Mark (1,493 comments) says:

    I do not have any issue with water being charged for so long as it relates only to the cost of the storage, reticulation and treatment. The fixed charge on rates for water would then have to be removed. Otherwise it is tax by stealth as bhudson has already pointed out, something that local authorities are masters at.

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  21. Lance (2,715 comments) says:

    Agree Auckland water is a fucking rip off. Like it was said, 300% price rise. And the bastards have to gaul to note on our bill we are using more than a comparable family of your size. I looked up domestic water stats for NZ, Aus and the US. This is horse shit, we are using 1/2 the typical amount per person per household for NZ and much less than Aus.
    More bloody official lies to justify their theft.

    rg is right, this charge should be for water costs only, but I’m seriously doubting it.

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