Water Ups and Downs

Who should control our freshwater?
Who should control our freshwater?

Water usage down but charges going up!

By Local Govt. Correspondent Jeremy Smith

Kapiti residents can expect a rise in their water rates over the next two years, partly because they are saving water.

With ratepayers now charged for the exact amount they use, the cost of supplying water, forecast at $8.3million, is running higher than the income from water meter charges.  

The deficit is expected to be $250,000 by the end of June 2017.

Closed account

Since  water metering started in July 2014,  the water rates have been put into a closed account. That means the waterWater meters account can not be topped up from other parts of the council budget. It also means the account can’t be raided for some other use.

The water accounts for the first three months of the current financial year show water use, and water meter income, tracking well below budget for July and September, and well below the same period last year.  In August water income actually went up above the expected budget  but it was not enough to offset the other  two months.

Staff who briefed KCDC councillors, say the water account is in deficit and it will take at least into the 2017-18 financial year to get the income and spending into balance.

$700,000 needed

To do that,  the council will need to take in an extra $700,000 in water rates.

Question: what happens if we have a wet summer and water use plummets even more?

Councillors also heard how more than $800,000 of water rates had not been paid by the end of September.

But that was still better than 12 months earlier, when $1,395million  in water rates was outstanding