city-services
City Services

Agricultural Water

The District of Summerland has recently implemented a new water rate model for agricultural users (the cost of water) that could affect you. It is important that you understand this new rate model as it may change how you water, how much you water, and how much you pay for water.

Open the link to view your metered Agricultural Water usage:

June 2016
July 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016

Note that some arable areas might not be accurate, which could affect the estimated cost.
We are actively working to correct these discrepancies. Learn more about this here.


Why
is this change being made?

With extensive consultation with agriculturalists, water utility experts and the community, the District of Summerland has implemented a tiered rate model for irrigation to encourage responsible water use. It is based on the premise that those users who exceed the threshold will pay an inclining tiered rate.

Who does this affect?

This change affects all water utility accounts that were previously on the Irrigation Roll. 

When will this affect me?

The new water rates are now in effect. Depending on how much water you use, it may affect your water utility bills this year. If you have concerns regarding the impact of the new rate model, please contact us for further discussion.

How much will I be paying for water now?

How much you will pay for water depends on how much water you use and how much arable area is on your property.

The new rate model allots water based on arable area on an annual basis, as follows:

Category Base Fee (per acre of arable area) Threshold (depth of water allotted)
  • Agricultural
  • Cemetery, Park, Playfield
  • Golf Course
$166.62 800 mm per arable acre
  • Greenhouse
$359.75 1,727 mm per arable acre

A depth of 800 mm of water is roughly equal to 3,237 cubic meters, 712,040 imp. gallons, or 2.62 acre feet, per arable acre per year.

If you use more water than the threshold , you will pay an inclining tiered consumption fee for all water in excess:

Category Percent Over Threshold Rate (per cubic meter)
  • Agricultural
  • Cemetery, Park, Playfield
  • Golf Course
1-10%
11-20%
21-30%
31-40%
41-50%
51-60%
61-70%
71-80%
81-90%
91% and over
$0.37
$0.55
$0.82
$1.23
$1.84
$2.76
$4.14
$6.21
$9.31
$13.96
  • Greenhouse
All water over threshold $0.05


What
should I do now?

If you remain under the threshold:  You will pay only the Base Fee, which is calculated on the arable area of land on your property. There’s nothing for you to do other than keep using water responsibly. Your bill for the season’s water use will be mailed to you at the end of July as usual.

If you go above the threshold:  You will pay both the Base Fee and Consumption Fees. The Base Fee will be billed at the end of July as usual, and your Consumption Fees will be billed at the end of each month, beginning at the end of the first month when you exceed the threshold. The more you use above the threshold, the higher the rate will go. Here are some ways you may be able to reduce how much you pay in Consumption Fees:

  • Examine your watering practices and irrigation technologies and then modify where possible to improve efficiency and reduce waste.
  • Confirm that the arable area shown on the attached statement is correct – if the actual arable area on your property is greater than what the District has on record, your threshold will be incorrectly calculated and you’ll be paying too much in Consumption Fees.

The transition to a rate model which includes an inclining tiered rate may cause concern to some high volume users. The District will work with you to address each of these situations on an individual basis.

Arable Area

Some properties may have more or less arable acres than are currently on record with the District of Summerland. The District will be reviewing its records and will contact all users who may require a change to their arable area stemming from this review.

The District of Summerland will also accept applications for increases in arable area (i.e. new arable land, independent of the review). The property owner will be responsible for all costs related to the installation of new water connections, or upgrades to existing connections including the cost to determine if sufficient water is available at the location if required.

There is also a water utility buy-in fee of $4,406 per arable acre. This fee funds Summerland’s water utility infrastructure.


Where
can I find out more about these changes or correct the District’s records?

You can find out more about this change or correct the District’s records (e.g. update arable acreage) by contacting the Director of Finance, Lorrie Coates, at 250-404-4045 or lcoates@summerland.ca.

The District of Summerland will be mailing estimates of your projected costs based on your 2015 water consumption. Please watch for this information in your mailbox.

Accounts identified as likely to greatly exceed the water allotment threshold will be individually contacted by District staff to discuss possible causes and available options to correct or minimize your costs.

How do I read the water meter myself?

How to read a meter