Back to top

LETTER: Rethink water meters

Dear Editor,

Water is of utmost significance to all of us.  We are vulnerable if we don't have access to clean affordable water.  So, water is worth thinking and talking about.  Following are some points I wish to share for consideration:

Control the water, and you control the people.  Water is needed for survival.  And, water is needed for crop irrigation and food security.

Water meters are a tool used by corporate  water providers to make a profit.  A community that already has water meters set up is more attractive to a corporation interested in a Public-Private Partnership (P3).  Our Federal and Provincial governments are promoting P3 privatization.
Water meters mean paying more if you want to grow and irrigate a garden...  or, going through red tape to get a garden growing discount (if one is available.)  Do we still wish to encourage and make it easier for people to grow their own food?

With water meters, who do you think would make greater efforts to conserve - the affluent rich or the less affluent poor?

With pay per use, what's to stop the affluent rich from using more water?  They are, after all, paying for it.

With the less affluent poor making efforts to conserve water, there may be consequences to health and hygiene.

Will renters now be asked to pay per use of water in addition to their monthly rent?

With pay per use, who do you think would likely pay more for water - a couple in their senior years or a young family who has two children and Border Bruin billets?  Do we still wish to attract young families to Grand Forks (as is stated in our Sustainable Community Plan)?

Installing wireless water meters increases the radiation we are exposed to.  Their signals can be read a couple of blocks away.  How much radiation can we be exposed to before having health consequences?  In May 2011, a group of experts at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an agency of the WHO (World Health Organisation), classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic (Group 2B) for humans.

The city's plan is to spend over $1.3 million dollars, using up most of our gas tax savings.  This is money that could otherwise be used for things like public transit expansion, bike paths, community energy systems (wind, solar, thermal, geothermal), and habitat protection systems.

Do water meters conserve water or do people?  Do we need to spend over a million dollars to convince people to conserve water?  Might the people decide to conserve water if they thought it made sense to?  Should we give the people a chance? We could save over a million dollars!!!

Thank you for your consideration,
Donna Semenoff