Years ago, when my children were still teenagers I used to dread opening the monthly cell phone bill. It would sit on the counter for a few days before I could muster the courage to open it. When I did, my blood pressure would soar.
Conversations explaining that it was only free to receive text messages and to receive pictures were common as were the ones explaining that one child had used everyone’s minutes – we were on a family plan with shared minutes – as I tried desperately to rein in our bill.
But what could be in a water bill? In our case considerably more than you would think. Here in beautiful Saanich BC, not only do we pay for our water, but a percentage of our water use is used to calculate the fees for the sewage treatment plants that have been in the planning stages for many years, but never built. That same percentage is used to pay for the disposal of the water we use. And yes, we do have sewers and our property taxes already cover the maintenance of the sewer system. Why pay once when you can pay twice seems to be the philosophy of our district.
The purpose of all of these charges is to get the residents of our area to use less water. And we have done such a marvelous job that a few years ago our efforts were rewarded by a sizable rate increase by the CRD – who manage many of the services in greater Victoria – because their revenues had fallen below sustainable levels due to our lack of water usage.
The cause of my latest angst was the hefty increase in rates for the sewage treatment plants and water disposal. All in time for summer when we will be watering during the dry season. It’s almost like the gas prices going up on May long weekend. Of course they at least will drop come September.
People from other parts of Canada tell me that it rains all the time here. Instead of having residents reduce water usage further so that our water rates can be increased, perhaps a new reservoir should be built to capture all of the runoff? But then again I am just a crazy west coaster.
Photo by Vivian Pura – All Rights Reserved
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She now has a small but proud part in Life As A Human.