The Stream, September 12: French Utility Experiments With Income-based Water Rates

French utility Suez Environnement will charge residents in Dunkirk, France different rates for water based on their income and level of usage, Bloomberg News reported. The French government is also pursuing legislation to make essential utilities like water, natural gas and power more affordable for low-income families.

Downpours and floods have forced evacuations and impeded relief efforts in southwest China, where a 5.7-magnitude earthquake hit last week, Xinhua reported. The rain also damaged a drinking water supply pipeline.

Water Shortages
Farmers in Karnataka, India are facing increasingly dry monsoon seasons and are turning to expensive water storage improvements to meet the water demands of their crops, AlertNet reported.

Water conservation measures are in effect for Tokyo and the Kanto region of Japan after reservoir levels fell to 39 percent of capacity, according to Bloomberg News. The measures aim to cut water usage by 10 percent.

The latest Murray-Darling River Basin Plan will not deliver a healthy river, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) told a Senate inquiry, Adelaide Now reported. The ACF argued that investments in water-saving measures will be spent to increase irrigation, rather than return more water to the river system.

A Canadian mining company has admitted in court that some hazardous materials discharged from a smelter in British Columbia were released into the Columbia River in Washington state, The Canadian Press reported. The discharges date back to 1896, and the group of American Indian tribes pursuing the lawsuit says the pollution has contaminated surface waters and groundwater.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

1 reply
  1. Shannon says:

    I think that it is an interesting idea to charge people water based on their income and usage. I am really curious to see how this works. If it works, perhaps it can be applied to other countries where paying for water is a large concern. Thanks for sharing.

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