Some good news, and some bad news for Hamilton taxpayers as far as water bills are concerned.
On the bright side, falling residential water consumption means a costly expansion of the wastewater treatment plant will not be required within the ten-year capital forecast.
On the other hand, water rates are projected to rise 4% next year to offset lower revenues.
A staff report notes that consumption dropped another 7% last year, part of a decade-long trend.
In 2012, consumption totalled 202 cubic metres per average household. A decade ago, the average was 30% higher, at 281 cubic metres.
Reasons for the decline are many including better plumbing, conservation programs, smaller households and reduced manufacturing activity by companies like U.S. Steel during the economic downturn.