Stormwater fees: What Waterloo, Victoria and Halifax are doing

Water Rate Structure Review – 2015/16

The Umbrella held a webinar on October 28, 2015, with presentations from Waterloo, Victoria and Halifax on their work implementing a separate fee for stormwater facilities.  We advocated introducing this in Ottawa when we appeared before Environment Committee on May 19.  SW fees are charged in proportion to the amount of impermeable surface of any property.  That is fairer pricing and offers an opportunity to reduce run-off at the lot level.

The slides used in the webinar are here (2.9 MB).  You can listen to the 1-hour audio from here (requires downloading Blackboard Collaborate first).

Of the three, Waterloo provides perhaps the most attractive example.  It went from adoption in principle to implementation in just over a year. Its credit system, implemented two years later, has seen good uptake. In contrast, Victoria took years and years and its rebate program is not enough of an incentive for people to make changes. Halifax follows very much a regulatory model. Still, all provide useful insights in how it works. I understand many hundreds of cities in the US have such fees.

Erwin – 2 November 2015