New stormwater utility bills flood Victoria homes, businesses


Stormwater Utility looks to the Future

In 2013, the City of Victoria embarked upon a comprehensive engagement process to implement a design with nature vision for Sustainable Rainwater Management. The City’s goal: use rain as a resource and mimic the function of natural systems. The outcome: a user-pay Stormwater Utility complete with a Rainwater Rewards Program. In October 2016, property owners received their first bill from the City for the Stormwater Utility.

mayor-lisa-helps_trimmed1_120p“The City is moving towards a utility management model that better aligns with the physical characteristics of properties and their impact to the City’s infrastructure,” stated Mayor Lisa Helps.

“I am very pleased that we are moving ahead with this sustainable and improved program, especially in light of the current, stormy weather and its impact on the City’s underground systems.

“We are working together to create a liveable and vibrant City, and part of that is building more resilience in our communities.

“Only by boosting the performance of our infrastructure, will we be able to adequately plan for future risk from a changing climate.”

To Learn More:

Read Mimic the Function of Natural Watersheds: City of Victoria implements Stormwater Utility + Rainwater Rewards Program


Fair and Equitable

Mayor Lisa Helps said the new system is more equitable.

“The rationale behind it is to make it fair, so it’s a user-based system,” Helps said, citing the example of provincially owned properties, on which no city property taxes are paid. Now, instead of “everybody else subsidizing the stormwater usage of the province,” the province will receive a utility bill, she said.

Another example, she said, is commercial parking lots, which will be paying a more proportionate share of stormwater costs.

“The idea is to incentivize people to create more permeable surfaces on their property to help the water go directly back into the earth and not into the storm drains,” Helps said.

To Learn More:

Download New stormwater utility bills flood Victoria homes, businesses to read the complete article published in the Victoria Times Colonist in November 2016.