VIEW JOHN FINNIE ON YOUTUBE: “Maintaining a balance between ‘Water Out’ and ‘Water In’ is essential because both sides of the equation are variable and the safety margin is decreasing with population growth and water consumption,” stated John Finnie, CAVI Chair, when he opened the Worth Every Penny Workshop which dealt with conservation-oriented water pricing (September 2010)

Note to Reader:

Held in September 2010, the Nanaimo Region Water Pricing Workshop was described as the first of its kind in Canada. Part of the rollout to stimulate a national dialogue on sustainable water management, the workshop program was a unique blend of research and practice. Also known as the Worth Every Penny Workshop, the program connected the dots between three initiatives:

Action for Water, implemented by the Regional District of Nanaimo following approval in a referendum in November 2008.

Worth Every Penny: A Primer on Conservation-Oriented Water Pricing,released in May 2010.

Beyond the Guidebook 2010: Implementing a New Culture for Urban Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia, released in June 2010.

The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) hosted the workshop in the City of Parksville. J0hn Finnie, the RDN General Manager of Regional and Utilities, delivered welcoming remarks to start the day. In addition to his day job at the RDN, John Finnie was the founding Chair, Convening for Action on Vancouver Island (CAVI).

A Regional Utility Perspective on Conservation-Oriented Water Pricing

“Conservation-oriented water pricing is more than just charging more for water to conserve water. It is a balance between charging enough for water so that it imparts a conservation ethic,” stated John Finnie in his opening remarks. “It is about balancing user rate revenues with taxation revenues in order to ensure that water systems can be adequately maintained. It is also about having a pricing strategy that provides affordable water for basic household use. That said, water pricing is likely one of the most effective water conservation tools that we have when combined with metering.

“The RDN is promoting water conservation as part of its Team Water Smart program. We see benefits to it, and we believe the program is working. At a recent provincial government workshop on a water science strategy for British Columbia, we realized that the RDN program is aligned with the direction in which the provincial government wishes to go.”


For details of the actual program, click on Draft Agenda for Nanaimo Water Pricing Workshop

Download Workshop Storyline (1.4MB PDF) —– The desired outcome for the workshop was that participating practitioners would connect the dots between three initiatives (Water Pricing Primer, RDN Action for Water, and Beyond the Guidebook 2010); and would understand why ‘conservation-oriented water pricing’ is a tool to achieve a larger end.

Watch the video on YouTube of John Finnie delivering the welcoming address and setting the tone for a day of sharing and learning. Follow along with his PowerPoint slides.