I have been asked several times about the rationale for "mock water bills". The simple answer is that the RDOS needs to collect some baseline data on water usage on the West Bench before it rolls out a meter-based billing system. Development of a metered pricing scheme is more complicated than many people seem to appreciate (more on this below). A secondary reason is to give our Public Works Department time to debug the system. There may be leaks in the new pipes; the water meters might not be working properly. A phased implementation allows RDOS staff to fix these problems before sending out completely off-the-wall water bills.
A metered pricing scheme
Some West Bench residents support a fully metered scheme. For this we would take the total operating cost of the West Bench Water System (approximately $350K/year), divide it by total water usage (say 500 m3) and charge all West Bench residents $0.70 per m3 of water.