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I got my quarterly water bill today. For those of you playing along in other countries, Australia is having a drought. Has been for about 7 years now. The weather boffins say we might be coming to the end but still, water = not enough of it. Water restrictions abound.

So I was looking forward to getting my bill and seeing my water usage and if the extra measures I’ve implemented are helping. Good news. My usage which used to be somewhere between efficient and average for a single person household with no garden (which I think is pretty good given I’m a single person plus two thirsty furballs household with a small garden), has gone down to 10% below efficient usage for single person household with no garden. Yay me. Cue the smug. I am not a wally with water.

However, one would think, that somehow that would translate to a reduced water bill. Um, well, it is slightly reduced. Maybe a couple of bucks (after adjusting for the $10 rebate I got on my way more than $10 water efficient showerhead to replace the showerhead I think was already an efficient one but wasn’t sure because I didn’t buy it) cheaper but that’s it. At this rate I’ll get back the cost of my water saving measures in oh, twenty years or so (well, apart from the benefit of there still being water that is). And why is there only a small saving you ask when I’ve whittled my usage down at least 10% if not more? Well, that would be because almost 90% of the stinking bill is service charges. Sewage and drainage and blah blah blah. Yes there’s infrastructure to maintain but, to quote Grey’s Anatomy, SERIOUSLY?!?

Now I’m all for saving water but I think the government is going about this wrong. People respond to the hip pocket. And people have talked about increasing the cost of water per kL etc but that seems dumb when so little of the bill is actual water cost. I have a better idea. Hit the service charges. Those who are using water wisely should be rewarded. And those who aren’t should pay. There should be a scheme that means if you’re in a certain efficiency bracket you get an appropriate discount or penalty on your service charge. That might help motivate people. It would at least decrease grumpiness in this household once every three months.

We shall resume normal programming soon : ) In the meantime, rain dances appreciated.

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