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New water pricing primer from POLIS Project

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‘Worth Every Penny’ — conservation-oriented water pricing in Canada,’ published by the University of Victoria’s POLIS water sustainability project, is a primer on how to reform water pricing.

The report is aimed at water managers and municipal leaders across Canada, and makes the economic case for water conservation and sustainable water service infrastructure in Canada as a way to increase water security for communities.

“Water infrastructure in many Canadian towns and cities is deteriorating, and water bills are not even enough to cover the costs of operation, says Oliver M. Brandes, co-author and leader of the POLIS water sustainability project.

“Communities are relying on federal and provincial subsidies to operate their water systems. Yet conservation-oriented water pricing has the potential to stabilize revenue, address deteriorating water infrastructure and to contribute towards comprehensive water conservation programs.”

‘Worth Every Penny’ provides practical economic and technical information about how to implement conservation-oriented water pricing, starting with setting water rates sufficiently high to encourage conservation.

Lead examples from communities on Vancouver Island and cities such as Halifax and Guelph are used to demonstrate successes. These communities in particular have used rates to reduce water demand and improve environmental performance without negative impacts on low-income families.

Source: Alliance for Water Efficiency

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