I would like to express my concerns and pose a question regarding the water rates soon to be implemented in Summerland.
The recent District of Summerland’s newsletter sent out with utility bills, gave us some good information regarding water usage. It pointed out that one person using a toilet could use three cubic meters per month. (It did not say whether this estimate is based on using a low flush toilet or not.)
My family consists of five adults, four of us being retired and home all day, not using the facilities at work or school.
According to this estimate we will almost be using our quota of 20 cubic meters of water on flushing alone.
The other bit of interesting information in the newsletter was that an average sized yard should not use more than five cubic meters per watering. We are allowed to water our yards three times per week under Stage 1 watering restrictions. This equals 15 cubic meters per week, or 60 per month.
My question is this: Would it not be fair to allow us at least this amount of water in the base rate of $33.33 per month during the irrigation season?
We have just under a half an acre, with mature trees including fruit, shrubs, grapes, raspberries, vegetable gardens, a couple of flower beds, and a small strip of lawn as well as a boulevard that attracts tourists and locals alike.
We have micro irrigation wherever feasible and do a lot of hand watering.
We mulch and use water retaining crystals in our container gardens. I have no clue how we will be able to keep it all alive next summer.
I am thinking that it is a good thing Summerland has its beautiful medians downtown for people to enjoy.
I fear there will be many brown, dried up yards next year — and not because Thirsk Dam is getting low on water, but because people simply won’t be able to afford to keep their properties looking good.
This will only add to the list of unsightly properties, also mentioned in the newsletter.