Wellington’s water shortage

The Herald reports:

Demand for water in Wellington could outstrip supply in as little as six years, prompting authorities to undertake a business case into household water meters across the metropolitan region.

The supply-demand balance for water was last assessed in 2017, but a report tabled at a Wellington Water Committee meeting this year shows the situation has changed.

The population growth rate has exceeded those earlier forecasts, meaning the region will need to find a new water source well before 2040.

It could be needed as early as 2026 if demand and projected population growth continue on the trajectory they’re on now, a Sustainable Water Supply Target and Policy report said.

Water metering has proven controversial in the region over recent years, with politicians kicking the can down the road or voicing concerns over any system that involved charging people for water.

But Auckland’s water crisis is a dire example of a water supply gone wrong and why the debate in Wellington can no longer be pushed to the back of the queue.

I think water meters are a no brainer. It costs money to store and supply water and someone has to pay for that. The current system means you pay regardless of your use so a elderly pensioner living in an CBD apartment may use 10% of the water of a family with a large garden but pay the same or more.

When the cost of water is correlated to how much you use, it encourages conservation. Water meters are both fairer and reduce costs for everyone as you have less wasted water.

I live in an area with no mains water, so we rely on our two 30,000 litre rainfall tanks. This encourages you to be very careful with water usage, knowing that if we use too much in summer we will have to pay $250 for an extra 10,000 litres.

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