With extensive consultation with agriculturalists, water utility experts and the community, the District of Summerland 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.
It is important that you understand this rate model as it may affect how you water, how much you water, and how much you pay for water.
Who does this affect?
This rate model affects all agricultural water utility accounts that are on the Irrigation Roll.
Consumption Reports 2020
Consumption Reports 2019
Consumption Reports 2018
Reports provide consumption in imperial gallons, cubic meters, depth in inches and depth in millimetres for agricultural water customers for the following:
- Monthly consumption
- Year-to-date cumulative consumption totals
- Annual consumption thresholds
Properties can be identified on the consumption reports by individual meter number. Please refer to the District's letter dated April 23, 2021, which provides each customer with their meter number.
When will this affect me?
Depending on how much water you use, it may affect your water utility bills. If you have concerns regarding the impact of this model, please contact us for further discussion.
How much will I pay for water?
How much you pay for water depends on how much water you use and how much arable area is on your property.
The rate model allots water based on arable area on an annual basis, as follows:
||Base Fee (per acre of arable area)
||Threshold (depth of water allotted)
|800 mm per arable acre
- Cemetery, Park, Playfield
- Golf Course
||800 mm per arable acre
||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:
||Percent Over Threshold
||Rate (per cubic meter)
- Cemetery, Park, Playfield
- Golf Course
81% and over
What should I do?
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.
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, and your Consumption Fees will be billed at the end of the growing season. 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 your arable area 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 District will work with you to address each of these situations on an individual basis.
The District of Summerland accepts 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 $4,047 per arable acre. This fee funds Summerland’s water utility infrastructure.
Where can I learn more about this rate model 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, David Svetlichny, at 250-404-4045 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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?