Conserving water through the use of water meters will save the City of Grand Forks $1.1 million in consumption and operating costs.
“There will be significant costs to upgrade and expand our water system unless we take steps to reduce and better manage our water use. The most effective way to preserve our water supply is to conserve through water meters,” says Roger Huston, Manager of Operations.
Currently, all of the city’s drinking water comes from groundwater sources and, like many communities in southern BC, there are drought and water supply issues during the hot summer months and very high energy costs for pumping water during high demand.
Without water meters, the City will need to build additional capacity and operational costs will continue to rise. An additional $1.1 million will be required to ensure the required fire flow to keep insurance rates low, he adds.
With the existing demand and no further conservation, a third reservoir and new well will be required in the coming years, at a cost of $2.7 million. Water meters have been shown in other communities to reduce water use by 25 per cent — a similar reduction in Grand Forks will mean a new reservoir won’t be needed.
“There are many reasons why we need to conserve water, including protecting our water source for future generations and reducing the City’s overall carbon footprint. We definitely see the benefit of installing water meters,” he added.
Water conservation and the use of water meters is also a condition to receiving certain government grants.
Because water meters will mean additional capacity in the underground infrastructure – the City won’t need to spend money on building larger pipes – Council can now consider additional funding for paving projects in 2014. This will be included on the Council agenda at the May 26, 2014 regular Council Meeting for discussion.
For media information, please contact:
Sarah Winton, Deputy Corporate Officer/Communications
City of Grand Forks