Program aims to empower businesses to reduce water use
Whistler is launching phase two of the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) volumetric water metering program. The pilot program involves installing or upgrading water meters for ICI water users and sample billing to help users understand their water usage and projected costs if the RMOW moves forward with water metering following the pilot program.
Phase two of the project focuses on ICI properties located outside the Whistler Village area including properties located in Alpine Meadows, Cheakamus Crossing, Whistler Creekside, Mons, Nesters, Nicklaus North, Nordic, Rainbow, Spring Creek, Spruce Grove and Whistler Cay. Phase one of the project included the installation of water meters for all ICI customers in Function Junction in 2019.
Currently, ICI water users are billed a flat fee, with the rate varying depending on the type of the business. ICI customers are generally some of the largest users of water in Whistler. A significant opportunity exists to improve water conservation through metering, due to large variations in water usage from property to property. Volumetric metering has been shown to encourage water conservation, improve leak detection and ensure rate equitability.
“Whistler’s water is a precious and limited resource. As a community we need to understand how we are using our water, and identify where we can conserve this resource or perhaps look at alternatives to using treated water where we don’t need to,” says Mayor Jack Crompton. “This program aligns with our Big Moves Strategy, with an aim to be more water wise and reduce our energy consumption.”
Data collected by the municipality during the pilot project will be consolidated and presented to Council in 2022. Once a preliminary rate structure has been developed and the effects of the change in rates is better understood, staff will present those findings to Council and Council will determine if volumetric billing will proceed. If implemented, the Water User Fee and Regulation Bylaw will need to be amended.
Once the water meters are installed and volumetric utility billing commences, customers would pay for the amount of water they use, collected through the usage fee set out in the Water User Fee and Regulation Bylaw.
Water meter installation has been a requirement for all new construction in Whistler since 1993, and radio frequency (RF) remote meter reading capabilities have been a requirement since 2007.
For more information on Whistler’s water conservation efforts for both residents and businesses, visit whistler.ca/WaterConservation.