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Highest water prices, lowest water use

By johnboy - 30 November 2010 27

The Canberra Times has the thrilling news that Canberra has the most expensive water in the nation by some margin.

Oddly enough we also have the lowest water use.

Who’d have thought that would work?

What’s Your opinion?


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27 Responses to
Highest water prices, lowest water use
1
shadow boxer 11:07 am
30 Nov 10
#

Somebody has to fund ACTEW’s lack of planning, sky high salaries, ridiculous advertising campaigns and ongoing largesse.

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2
housebound 11:08 am
30 Nov 10
#

I didn’t think this was news. It has been such for a few years now – ever since ACTEW decided it needed to raise the unit charge to cope with falling revenue due to water restrictions.

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3
Snarky 11:18 am
30 Nov 10
#

Water cost doesn’t drive my water usage – it’s the perceived scarcity that determines that I don’t take long showers, don’t choose to water a lawn with fresh water or don’t install a pool.

Whether my perception that we don’t really have a lot of spare water lying around is accurate or not is wide open to debate – certainly when the water storages are running at 90%+ full it’s hard to argue the place is a desert.

But I can’t put images of the last few droughts out of my mind, nor can I readily forget that nearby places like Goulburn were really doing it a hell of a lot tougher than we were.

At current capacity we have about 185,000 ML of water stashed away. The city uses on average about 150ML a day over the year (my guess). That’s a bit more than 3 years of water, assuming no other inputs which is clearly unrealistic, but… the last drought lasted 7 years.

I’ll stick to a 3 minute shower and continue dumping the washing and washing up water on the garden not because it’s cheaper but because it makes me feel better.

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4
Grail 11:29 am
30 Nov 10
#

It’s not just perception, Snarky. We just don’t have that many options for collecting potable water within easy pumping distance (and height) from Canberra.

There aren’t any resource supply problems that reducing the population won’t solve.

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5
astrojax 11:35 am
30 Nov 10
#

Snarky said :

Water cost doesn’t drive my water usage – it’s the perceived scarcity that determines that I don’t take long showers, don’t choose to water a lawn with fresh water or don’t install a pool.

Whether my perception that we don’t really have a lot of spare water lying around is accurate or not is wide open to debate – certainly when the water storages are running at 90%+ full it’s hard to argue the place is a desert.

But I can’t put images of the last few droughts out of my mind, nor can I readily forget that nearby places like Goulburn were really doing it a hell of a lot tougher than we were.

At current capacity we have about 185,000 ML of water stashed away. The city uses on average about 150ML a day over the year (my guess). That’s a bit more than 3 years of water, assuming no other inputs which is clearly unrealistic, but… the last drought lasted 7 years.

I’ll stick to a 3 minute shower and continue dumping the washing and washing up water on the garden not because it’s cheaper but because it makes me feel better.

but of course, one of the contributors to your perception [true or otherwise] is the non-conscious message you acquire through the price point – it is high so your brain logically assumes of its own accord – or proactively you tell it – that this means less water…

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6
Captain RAAF 11:37 am
30 Nov 10
#

Snarky said :

… the last drought lasted 7 years.

You do know it did actually rain here during that time?

There would have to be some biblical dry spell for us to ever run out of water, aint gonna happen. Using Goulburn as the example of how close you can come to running out of water during a an extended drought period is not taking into account it’s unsatisfactory water catchment and storage facilities.

And, as I predicted, the rains and floods are here and we are now back at 100%, some areas are at about 150% – 200% but you can bet that one day, about 7-10 years from now we’ll once again be at 47% water capacity and people will be running around exclaiming that we are all going to die and we must start drinking our own urine and recycled poo water!

Start building your Ark because this is just the start, it’s a pity we don’t have some mega dams in Australia like most of the rest of the world does because we could be stocking up for decades right now.

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7
Holden Caulfield 11:43 am
30 Nov 10
#

Is this the trade-off for the highest average wage, for the least average working hours, haha?!

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8
TVStar 11:47 am
30 Nov 10
#

shadow boxer said :

Somebody has to fund ACTEW’s lack of planning, sky high salaries, ridiculous advertising campaigns and ongoing largesse.

Agreed.

It’s not like I was not going to buy any water, until I was tipped of about this newfangled product that now comes in taps buy those nice people at ACTEW at a cocktail party, and decided to give it a go.

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9
Snarky 11:52 am
30 Nov 10
#

Captain RAAF said :

There would have to be some biblical dry spell for us to ever run out of water, aint gonna happen…

I don’t think this thread is the one for a re-hash of climate change fanaticism or denial. I’ll just say I personally doubt this part of the world is about to turn tropical.
“it’s a pity we don’t have some mega dams in Australia like most of the rest of the world does because we could be stocking up for decades right now.”

True. But we don’t, so we can’t.

Astrojax said:

“…but of course, one of the contributors to your perception [true or otherwise] is the non-conscious message you acquire through the price point…”

No, to be honest I rarely if ever look at the water component of the bill – sewerage costs far more.

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10
CLooLoo 12:16 pm
30 Nov 10
#

I’m sure ACTEW’s exceptionally generous employee wages have nothing to do with the ridiculous price increases!

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11
troll-sniffer 12:19 pm
30 Nov 10
#

Seems to my poor little brain, the brain that somehow manages to miss the logic behind the climate-sceptics’ scientifically researched and published positions, that pricing water at just the point where the cost for the average user is still good value while making most people assess the value of wasting a resource, has to be a good thing.

As is usually the case, the type of deep thinker who assumes that because water that falls in the ACT is not fully harvested, it is somehow going to waste, is always going to whinge and carry on about the imposition of any sort of charge on a resource that is his or her birthright to fully use at their discretion.

It’s not too great a leap into an intellectual NRL-free zone to work out that as the population of Straya rises, finite resources of all shapes, sizes and states will become progressively more expensive. A responsible guvmnt manages the transitions from abundance to scarcity in an equitable way, and pricing water to limit demand is generally recognised throughout the world as the best action to take.

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12
georgesgenitals 12:39 pm
30 Nov 10
#

Reducing use is a good thing, no doubt. But we need to recognise that:
a) reducing our use will only get us so far, eventually we will get to a point of minimum consumption per person
b) the population is growing and will continue to do so
c) charging for water to help with (a) above is reasonable.

However, we WILL need more catchment and storage at some point, and now is a great time to be planning. The Cotter expansion is a great start.

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13
chewy14 12:49 pm
30 Nov 10
#

CLooLoo said :

I’m sure ACTEW’s exceptionally generous employee wages have nothing to do with the ridiculous price increases!

Seeing as I think ACTEW only has 50 employees i’m guessing it doesn’t.

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14
astrojax 12:57 pm
30 Nov 10
#

Snarky said :

No, to be honest I rarely if ever look at the water component of the bill – sewerage costs far more.

maybe, but the point is the nonconscious processing your brain does – you read sites like these, you see news reports, you hear people talk about water prices: you absorb this information one way or another…

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15
James-T-Kirk 1:16 pm
30 Nov 10
#

Seems like capitalism at work – If you don’t sell much of something, then it is expensive.

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