Water Metering: Letter to the Capital Times

January 27, 2009

This is a response to a Capital Times article, Hold Your Water (Vol  34  No 11) which argued for compulsory water metering as a conservation measure. Unfortunately the article is not online.

Your article Hold Your Water argued for water metering as a conservation measure. However, domestic water metering is symptomatic of an approach to conservation that shifts the costs of bad infrastructure onto consumers.

Like any user-pays system, water metering hits those on lower incomes hardest. There are alternatives. Fitting houses with rainwater tanks can conserve up to 40% of potable water, without significantly limiting real consumption. If you add greywater recycling and drycomposting toilets to the equation, households can conserve up to 70%. However, these measures don’t have the ongoing financial benefits that meters do.

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