What impact will this have on the wholesale water rate?
The wholesale water rate was also conceptually modeled to 2050 In order to balance the annual budgets to 2050, the rate would have to substantially increase on a year over basis at least until the late 2030s, when it is forecast that growth related demand and revenue would begin to mitigate larger year over year increases. Through the mid to late 2020s, into the 2030s, the rate could increase in the 10% to 20% range on a year over year basis, based on projected water demand with increasing population. The water rate is set to fund all operating and capital costs associated with the Regional Water Supply Service.
What are the timelines for the proposed projects?
The projects will move through Planning, Design and Construction phases over the next 30 years and will be implemented based on system requirements. Some projects are planned to undergo further study beginning next year, before proceeding to detailed design and construction. Due to the size and complexity of most of the projects, the projects will take several years to design, construct and integrate into the existing water system. More information on timelines can be found in the 2022 Regional Water Supply Master Plan Presentation.
Is funding available for these projects?
Although there has been no allowance for senior government grant funding or allowance for a portion of the capital funding that is expected to be provided through Regional Water development cost charges in the near future, CRD staff will actively seek grant opportunities where the eligibility criteria align with the recommended projects and make application for funding. Grant funding would help offset the debt burden and help mitigate water rate increases. Although development cost charges will increase the cost of development, these funds would also help mitigate the cost of water for the average ratepayer over time.
How will my feedback impact the Plan?
All feedback received will be shared with the RWS Commission and considered as the individual major projects are planned and implemented moving forward.
Will the Master Plan be updated over time?
The 2022 Master Plan recommendations and proposed infrastructure will continue to be reassessed, on a five to 10 year cycle, to consider new information and latest trends in population growth and water demand, and evaluate risks to the service, including climate change and water quality. Current technology and construction costs will also be evaluated. As a result of this continuous and adaptive process, the 2022 Master Plan implementation will be adjusted moving forward, to reflect any changes in assumptions or conditions.
How were projected water demand rates calculated?
The future water supply requirements were based on the need to serve a population of 569,000 in 2050 which equates to a total annual demand forecast of 74 million cubic metres of water per year. Greater Victoria currently consumes approximately 48 million cubic metres of water per year. The per capita demand used to calculate the forecast total annual demand was 366 litres per capita per day (this figure represents demand across all sectors including residential, agriculture, industrial, commercial and institutional, as well as water losses throughout the system). Per capita water demand is projected to remain relatively stable when projecting future demands at the supply level, but if further reductions are realized over time, this will be factored into future Plan updates.