As part of the Columbia Basin Trust’s Water Smart Initiative, Golden council has just been presented the findings of a Water Meter Needs Assessment that was commissioned in June, 2012.
“In 2009 the Columbia Basin Trust started an initiative called the Water Smart Initiative, it’s a five-year program. It has a policy directive for member communities to reduce their consumption by 20 per cent in five years,” said Chris Cochran, manager of operations for the Town of Golden.
Since then Golden has reduced its consumption by 21 per cent.
John Dumbrell, a senior planner with Urban Systems, presented the findings of the assessment.
Golden has already taken steps to reduce consumption, including water metering in the industrial, commercial, institutional and multi-family residences, outdoor irrigation restrictions, leak detection, and public awareness and education.
But based on data collected from other B.C. communities who have recently undergone universal water metering, the town can expect another 20 per cent reduction on peak water use, and a 15 per cent reduction on average use.
“What it would be is installation of water meters on all water service connections that are not currently metered. So the bulk of them, practically all of them, will be single family residences,” said Dumbrell.
Golden would require 1,378 water meters (at $600 a piece), which the town would own. After the cost of installation and upgraded software and a reading system, the projected capital cost would be $964,000.
In addition to that, the town would be providing additional operational costs, which Dumbrell valued at the equivalent of a 1/4 staff position, or $20,000.
The project would save the town energy costs for pumping water and waste water, which, based on data from other communities, is projected to be 20 per cent in water system energy costs, and 15 per cent in sanitary and sewer energy costs.
“From a social perspective, there will be an equity and fairness regarding charges to utility customers,” said Dumbrell. People will pay for what they consume, and will also have the ability to affect their own water bill.
The assessment was just completed, and the issue of universal water metering is not currently on the town agenda.