Wellington faces a looming water shortage with water meters being put forward as one way for the region to cut back – but the city’s politicians are reluctant to confront the issue.
The region’s water authority warns Wellington faces water shortages in the future if more of it isn’t found or conserved.
Wellington is one of New Zealand’s worst offenders when it comes to the amount it uses and, compared to people in the other big centres, Wellingtonians use significantly more water per person than those in Auckland and Tauranga do, both places with water meters installed.
If a resource is limited, then a usage charge is a very sensible way to manage demand so it doesn’t exceed supply.
It doesn’t affect me directly as we have two 30,000 litre water tanks picking up rain water. So we already conserve water when the tanks start to get low.
But why should a pensioner who uses 1/10th as much water as a family of five with a large garden pay the same amount for water?
While Wellington city councillor, Malcolm Sparrow, thinks water pressures in the region mean meters are “almost inevitable”, others including Green Party member Iona Pannett, oppose anything that would allow companies to charge for it.
Very disappointing from a so called Green Councillor. This reflects a hatred of business outweighs a love for the environment. Water meters are excellent for the environment as they lead to water conservation.
After meters were installed water usage dropped by more than a quarter during peak hours and expensive water facility upgrades, $36 million worth, were no longer needed.
A quarter drop at peak time is huge.
But Pannett said other options should be explored before the public engaged in a “big conversation” about water meters, including educating people to waste less.
Councils have been doing that for 40 years. Doesn’t work.