The City of Edmonton’s unique water pricing system and conservation results helped garner top accolades from our friends at Corporate Knights magazine. The city was listed as Canada’s most sustainable metropolis in late January.
In CK’s third annual Most Sustainable Cities in Canada report, Edmonton came out ahead of all Canadian big cities, including Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary and Montreal.
Cities were ranked according to five criteria: ecological integrity, economic security, governance and empowerment, infrastructure and the built environment, and social well-being. Edmonton’s water conservation and pricing structures bolstered its ecological integrity score to clinch first place.
“Edmonton was the only city in our consideration set to have inclining block pricing for water in place,” said CK’s managing editor Melissa Shin. “This policy promotes conservation by creating a financial disincentive for higher water use. This is often a much stronger cause for water use reduction than any awareness campaign.”
Edmonton’s residential water pricing system encourages Edmontonians to use moderate amounts of water each month. Rates increase for residential water users who consume large quantities in their households.
“EPCOR strategies have helped residents reduce water consumption to 15 per cent less than the average among large Canadian cities with water metering,” says Steve Stanley, senior VP of EPCOR Water Services. “We’ve kept water rate increases below inflation, and we’ve met City performance standards. We’ve managed to do that and obtain survey results which tell us that 93 per cent of Edmontonians are satisfied with their tap water quality.”
Edmonton has one of the lowest per capita water consumption rates among Canadian municipalities. The average residence pays about $35 per month for water services.