One Leduc City councillor thinks increasing water rates will aid in water conservation but another says education and encouraging responsible use is the way to go.
Following a presentation on the City of Leduc’s Water Conservation, Efficiency and Productivity Plan during their Nov. 10 council meeting, Coun. Dave Mackenzie said increased water rates will improve water conservation rates.
“If you increase the price, you decrease the usage,” he said. “You can use price as a management tool.
Councillor Terry Lasowski disagreed.
“I want to encourage responsible use and I think education is the way to go. I don’t think pricing is the way to go. We need to keep water rates down.”
The plan was developed at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association asked all communities over 10,000 to assess water usage and conservation.
During the analysis, said Environmental Sustainability coordinator Kerra Chomlak, they found Leduc was already under projected water usage rates.
Currently, water users consumer 184 litres of water per capita per day. That’s significantly less than other communities.
For example, Sherwood Park’s residential consumption is 192 litres of water per capita per day, St. Albert’s is 200 while the City of Edmonton’s is 224.
Chomlak wants to improve its numbers further and is suggesting a target of 175 liters of water per capita per day. This will be possible she said by educating the public and encouraging businesses, like restaurants, to install sprayer heads that will decrease the amount of water used.
“None of these targets appear to be overly onerous,” said Coun. Glen Finstad.
Mayor Greg Krischke agreed, saying the low volume sprayers will save businesses water and that will save them money. “It’s a no brainer.”
Coun. Dana Smith added it was important the public knows that the new spray park, slated to open next summer, is using recycled water.
“We made a conscious decision in regards to that for the benefit of the residents. We’re making sure we lead from the top down.”
Council accepted the plan and Chomlak said they will be taking action to communicate and educate the public on a community-based approach to water conservation as part of the City’s overall commitment to a green and healthy community.