Water, water everywhere: But can we afford to keep it flowing?

It will cost Canadians $142 billion to replace water and wastewater assets that are currently in fair to poor condition, according to the Canadian Infrastructure Report Card. Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission cites that figure, equivalent of almost 22% of the total federal debt, in its most recent report and comes down hard on the side of user fees as the best vehicle to raise the money.

Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission makes its case in “Only the Pipes Should be Hidden: Best practices for pricing and improving municipal water and wastewater services”, a report released September 26, 2017. It argues that well-designed user fees can raise the funds necessary to build and maintain water and wastewater infrastructure and also contribute meaningfully to water conservation objectives.

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