From 1 July 2022, households that regularly use much more water than the average will pay an excess water supply targeted rate.
How it will work
The targeted rate will apply to any single household with a water meter that uses, on average, more than 700 litres a day – roughly equivalent to 100 toilet flushes or taking seven baths. Property owners in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula will pay a fixed rate of $1.35 for every 1,000 litres they use over the average limit.
Water use will be recorded and billed for on a quarterly basis (roughly every 90 days). This rate will help cover the extra cost of pumping and delivering water through our supply network to those households that regularly use far more than the average.
Generally, the property owner or the same person who receives the property's rates invoice will also receive the excess water supply invoice. Most properties in Christchurch won’t receive a charge. There will not be a reduction in your rates for using less water.
Where multiple households are served by a single water meter, we won’t invoice them until separate meters can be installed, unless there is a special agreement in place specifying which household/ratepayer is responsible for payment.
Why we’re introducing the excess water supply targeted rate
The main reason for the new rate is to help reduce the extreme demand on our water supply network at certain times, particularly during the summertime. If we can do this, it means we won't have to spend as much money on upgrading and building new infrastructure.
When other parts of the country have put in place similar charges they’ve seen a reduction in water use of 20 to 30 per cent. Currently, the top 20 per cent of household water users in Christchurch use more than 50 per cent of the city’s entire residential water supply. We think it’s fair that if they want to keep using lots of water, then they should help with the higher costs involved in supplying it.
There are some exemptions to the excess water supply targeted rate, such as:
- Unexpected high use due to a leak, upon proof the leak has been repaired promptly
- Personal circumstances, such as medical conditions.
Let’s say a household uses, on average, 1,200 litres of water per day during a billing period.
We know the average daily limit is 700 litres per day, so the household's average use is 500 litres more per day than the limit.
Calculated over a 90-day billing period, this works out to be 45,000 litres more than the limit of 63,000 litres.
The excess charge is $1.35 for every 1,000 litres used over the limit, so 45,000 extra litres is equal to 45 x $1.35, a total charge of $60.75.