Blog Post #15 – Pricing changes support protection of B.C. water

The review of water pricing in B.C. is now complete.  New fee and rental rates are being set to recover the costs of administering the new Water Sustainability Act and better manage our water for future generations.  The new fees and rentals will come into effect in 2016.

Last spring we asked for your feedback on the Pricing BC’s Water discussion paper.  We received over 130 comments and submissions from citizens as well as representatives from business and industry, environmental organizations, local government, agriculture and academia. Key user groups were also consulted last fall.

We received lots of opinions on our water pricing principles. Many respondents told us that water is undervalued.  Some cited the importance of affordable water for domestic use, agriculture and the link to food security. Others suggested that water that is consumed and removed from a watershed or aquifer should be assessed differently than non-consumptive uses.

Local governments noted the importance of water for communities and the significant cost of water treatment and distribution.  Industry organizations emphasized the importance of fairness and the potential impacts of increasing water rates on business competitiveness and investment. The new fees and rentals attempt to strike a balance and will help ensure the resources are there to support the long-term protection of our water.

Read our News Release and Backgrounder for more information, or review the detailed fees and rentals schedule. If you have a water licence, check out the Water Rent Estimator to find out how the changes might affect your water bill.