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City water costs keep climbing

A new financial plan that predicts funding of the city’s water and wastewater systems will need to increase between 5% and 8% annually for the next six years has been approved by city council.
The city is planning for “steady, uniform rate increases,” with “no rate spikes or troughs” over those six years, Peter Busatto, the city’s general manager of water services, told council Monday.
The city has seen declining water consumption in recent years, but it faces some challenges that require additional funding, says a staff report.
One challenge is the increasing cost of complying with provincial regulations about water since the tainted water tragedy in Walkerton, Ont., in May 2000. Ontario municipalities must obtain a drinking water licence from the province. The new financial plan approved Monday was part of Guelph’s process to get its licence renewed.
Guelph’s current water and wastewater rates are near the average for comparable cities in Ontario, and Guelph is running its water system without taking on debt, the report says.

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