Rate increase spurs water use rethink

Water authority figures show the average household in Grand Cayman uses 175 gallons of water per day.

According to figures from other countries, that makes Caymanian houses more wasteful than most countries, but better than water hungry houses in the USA.

Jayden Gregory

With water rates going up, Jayden Gregory, 4, is on notice not to waste water.

The figures were released to coincide with a new water rate increase that will affect households using more than 3,200 gallons of water per month.

Once a household exceeds 3,200 gallons of use, they will have to pay an extra 29 cents for every 266 gallons they use.

According to a Water Authority press release, the rate change will only increase the cost of an average household bill by $2.31.

Although the increase won’t break the budget for many households, some residents on Grand Cayman are reconsidering the amount of water they consume.

Javee Gregory said news of the rate rise made him think twice about the amount of water his family of five is using.

He sat his children down and explained to them why it was important to save water.

‘Having three children, we keep an eye on utilities. The CUC bills are bad enough, so with any rates increase, we are going to feel it,’ he said

‘But it’s not just about saving money, it’s also about teaching the kids why it is important to conserve water and not be wasteful.’

He told his youngest son, Jayden, 4, that half-hour showers would be a thing of the past.

His children are also on notice not to leave taps running – Jayden has a habit of leaving the hose running after he washes his bike, Mr. Gregory said.

In the future, Mr. Gregory is also going to ensure the washing machine and dishwasher is full before they are used.

Water Authority Deputy Director Tom van Zanten said the rate increase will help the Water Authority fund infrastructure development at a time when demand for water in Grand Cayman is increasing.

He said everyone should try to conserve more water.

To help their customers conserve water, the Water Authority offer free water-saving shower heads.

For more information on water rates, or water-saving shower heads, call the Water Authority on 949-6352

Water saving tips:

• Water-saving shower heads don’t just save water, they save on electricity needed to heat hot water. Water saving shower heads can cut in half the amount of water and electricity used when showering.

• Put a bucket on the floor of the shower and water the garden with it when you are done.

• Dripping taps are annoying and waste a lot of water, but a few washers will fix most dripping taps.

• Don’t peel vegetables with the tap running. Put the plug in and use the sink. A running tap can use up to 2.5 gallons per minute.

• Each washing machine cycle uses up to 26 gallons of water, so it makes sense to wait until you have a full load.

• Dishwashers use up to 13 gallons per wash, so wait until the dishwasher is full and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on minimising water use.

• Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth, or use a glass full of water.

• A single toilet flush can use up to 2.5 gallons of water.

• Wash your car with a bucket and hose. A running hose can use over 250 gallons of water in an hour.

Water use – How Cayman Compares:

USA: 350 US Gallons per household per day (American Water Works Association, 1999);

Cayman Islands: 175 Gallons per household per day (Water Authority Cayman Islands);

Canada: 86.9 US Gallons per person per day1 (Environment Canada, 2007);

Australia: 74.54 US Gallons per person per day (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006);

Spain: 70 US Gallons per person per day (European Water Association, 2002);

Netherlands: 57.5 US Gallons per person per day (European Water Association, 2002);

France: 43 US Gallons per person per day (European Water Association, 2002);

Germany: 34.07 US Gallons per person per day (European Water Association, 2002).

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