Disagreement growing over water metering in Tasmania


Hobart, Australia — (METERING.COM) — January 12, 2010 – The initiative to install water metering statewide in Tasmania seems to be squaring up in a disagreement between residents and business.

Following a government initiative, in mid-December Tasmania’s three water corporations, Ben Lomond Water, Cradle Mountain Water and Southern Water, announced the installation phase of the statewide Water Metering Tasmania project starting early in this year.

However, it soon ran into opposition from a newly formed lobby group, Residents Against Water Meters, led by Hobart City Council Alderman, Jeff Briscoe, who argues there is no shortage of water in Tasmania and that the meters are a waste of money.

Now business has entered the fray, with the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) expressing its support for the project. In a statement TCCI chief economist, Mark Bowles, said the initial cost of installing the meters was a bullet-proof investment.

“Regardless of the abundance of water in Tasmania, reliable delivery and treatment of water is costly,” said Bowles, adding that water metering would improve the fairness of water charges as those who use the infrastructure more intensively will pay their fair share.
However, in the latest news according to a survey of 400 southern Tasmanians commissioned by Southern Water the majority of them welcome the water meters, with 37% strongly in favor, and only a quarter are opposed to them.

“When people understand how much water they use, many choose to use less,” said Water Metering Tasmania project director, Danny Sutton. “The other benefit is that meters are essential for tracing major leaks in households and in Southern Water’s pipes.”