The city is considering adding a base charge to residential water rates in an effort to link the expense of supplying clean water with the revenue brought in from consuming it.
Under the current system, residents are billed based on the water they consume. The proposed system would have a base fee, with most of the bill coming from consumption rates.
Dixon Weir, the city’s manager of environmental services, said the change is needed to stabilize water-related revenue. The city has to maintain the water supply network regardless of whether people are using that water. Replacing old pipes and expanding the network makes up the majority of expenses.
Weir said the change will have little impact on the average residential water rate payer.
The average household in Ottawa using 18 – 25 cubic metres of water per month would see no change or even a slight decrease on their water bill.
However, residences with very low consumption could end up paying an extra five dollars per month.