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Measurement Canada water meter consultation

Water Meter

Background

Access to clean, sustainable supplies of water is essential to all Canadians. Canada possesses one of the largest renewable supplies of freshwater in the world; however, it only has 7% of the world's renewable water flow. Although Canada is fortunate to have 20% of the world's freshwater (Canada, 2018), approximately 60% of fresh surface water flows north, leaving up to 85% of Canada's population without abundant supply (Canada, 2013).

This is why the Government of Canada has introduced initiatives and programs to reduce water use and support Canadians to lessen their impact on climate change, such as the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program and the Canada Community-Building Fund (formerly known as the federal Gas Tax Fund), which provide funding to municipalities to update their infrastructure, including replacing water meters or installing new ones within their systems to help control water loss and promote sustainable water use.

Water meters will play a significant role in achieving the Government's environment and climate change objectives. They help households monitor their water usage. According to a 2009 survey, Canadian households with meters on volume-based water pricing schemes used 73% less water than unmetered households on flat-rate water pricing schemes. The use of accurate meters allows utilities to closely monitor water within their system and quickly identify breaks/leaks and have them repaired, resulting in a reduction of lost resources and promoting a more sustainable system (Environment Canada, 2011).

Voluntary standards are used throughout the world to assist countries in effective water conservation and management. The three main international standards we have identified are:

Currently, under the Weights and Measures Regulations, water meters are exempt from requiring approval and initial inspection. To help the Government of Canada achieve its climate change goals and sustain our water supply for future generations, we are looking into possible areas where we could help manufacturers, utilities and end users support and promote water conservation through increased accurate measurement of water.

We are committed to working closely with industry by supporting and fostering innovations while monitoring the requirements that other countries have developed, and advances and innovations in metering technologies. Our goal is also to ensure that water distribution utilities can use measurement to quickly identify and correct water loss in their systems, and that consumers receive accurate and reliable measurement, as well as protection against unfair practices and fraud.

Overview of the consultation

We are consulting with the following stakeholders to obtain data on water measurement approaches and water meter billing practices currently in use in the Canadian marketplace:

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