We have been playing god with our water

 

Richmond Hill Liberal

 

My recent Town of Richmond Hill water bill came with a brochure indicating that residents will soon be paying a new charge of $47.62 per year, regardless of water consumption, to help maintain stormwater ponds.

 

Given that our household uses a lot less water than the average home, I resent having to pay a flat rate that effectively means I am subsidizing homes whose occupants consume more water.

 

At minimum, the charge ought to be tied to a home’s water consumption. This, incidentally, would encourage water conservation.

 

A key statement in the brochure is: “The stormwater system will continue to grow as Richmond Hill grows.”

 

Recent growth has entailed huge homes being built on small plots of land such that there is little natural ground left to absorb rainfall. Excess water thus heads to the stormwater ponds.

 

Beyond this, we are allowing homes to be built in the north end of town where, due to aquifers, the safe excavatable depth is minimal. Have a look at the myriad of impromptu ponds each spring, perilously close to some of the new homes in Oak Ridges.

 

Through development, we have been playing god with water — and now we’re about to pay the price.

 

At minimum, all new homes should be equipped with rain barrels at downspouts to catch water that can be used to water gardens.

 

And any home that occupies more than a certain proportion of its lot’s area should be subject to a significant development charge, to be dedicated to stormwater management.

 

Bruce Rhodes

 

Richmond Hill