Saturday, 17 March 2012

Droughts and water charges

It has been widely said that Kent has less rainfall per person than some of the driest parts of the world, e.g. Dallas and Morocco, but that simply means that we have a lots of people and need to be careful with the water we use. This week's news that the drought means that the River Medway is to continue to be diverted into Bewl Water somes as little surprise and neither does the impending hosepipe ban.

While water companies are pushing out water meters to customers, I have to ask why this is taking so long and why it wasn't started many years ago. Being metered for water is a surefire way of people taking responsiblity for their water use but it needs to done in a way that penalised excess use while allowing cheap access to reasonable volume of water.

Looking at Southern Water's charges, they don't do this. The standing charge followed by a cost per unit  is better that those gas companies that charge huge amounts for the first few units and then very little afterwards but the water charges are still not smart.

Having no standing charge and only charging a small amount for low volume use followed by higher charges for higher amounts would provide a real incentive to save water and still allow people cheap access to moderate amounts.

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