Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Question about Water Price Increases

I noted that Michael Robichaud asked a question about water fees on an Rocky View Weekly article which was posted to the Village of Beiseker Facebook page, yesterday.  His question was;
The last part regarding water consumption is a little confusing.
How do you implement increases because of a lack of consumption on allotted water ?
The Village of Beiseker buys its water from the Aqua7 Regional Water Services Commission (A7RWSC).  The commission is made of seven municipalities; Acme, Beiseker, Irricana, Linden, Carbon, and the Counties of Kneehill and Rocky View.  The Commission buys its water from the Town of Drumheller

The water from the Drumheller treatment plant is sent to the Aqua7 pumping station at Kirkpatrick.  From there it is treated then pumped out of the valley, first to Carbon and Kneehill County, then to Acme.  There's a "T" in the pipe at Acme. Water goes to Linden and water flows to Beiseker and Irricana.

When this system was set up, years ago, A7RWSC said that they would purchase a set amount of water from Drumheller.  But we've never come close to purchasing that much water!  There's a couple of reasons for that;
  • The price of water; although the cost of water from Drumheller is relatively low, the cost of supporting the A7RWSC pumps, treatment systems, and pipes is expensive. 
  • Water conservation programs have been effective in convincing people to use less water.
  • Rocky View County, although they are full member of A7RWSC, has yet to buy or sell any water at all!
Drumheller claims that its system is geared to provide much more water than A7RWSC is buying.  Supporting that system to provide that unsold capacity is costing Drumheller extra, therefore they are passing that extra cost on to those who buy water from them, i.e. A7RWSC. 

We're expecting up to a 20% increase in the price of water from the Drumheller treatment plant.  That works out to about an 18 cents a cubic metre of water increase over the next few years.

The A7RWSC is trying to keep the price of pumping, treating, and transporting water to as low as possible.

How can the price of water go down?  The price of water can go down if the A7RWSC sells more water.  That means the A7RWSC  has to find more customers for its water! They're working on that.

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