UC investigating the amount people pay for water

25 November 2013

A University of Canterbury (UC) postgraduate student is investigating the amount people have to pay for water throughout New Zealand.

UC investigating the amount people pay for water

A University of Canterbury (UC) postgraduate student is investigating the amount people have to pay for water throughout New Zealand.

Sarah Hayman is working on a summer scholarship at the Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management on campus analysing the price of water as part of an international project comparing water pricing in more than 40 countries.

Hayman, who is being supervised by Professor Bryan Jenkins, plans to undertake postgraduate studies in water management next year.

"She is contributing to a project to compile the information on water pricing in New Zealand. There is an incredible diversity of approaches in New Zealand because of the decentralised approach to supplying water,’’ Professor Jenkins says.

"Some authorities have pricing systems based on metered water while others, like Christchurch, recover costs of domestic water supply through general rates.

"The study will make comparisons within New Zealand possible and provide a basis for international comparisons as part of the international project. The project will compare and contrast the different systems of residential and industrial water pricing and the basis for them.

"With growing scarcity of water in parts of New Zealand, there is increasing interest in how to manage this scarcity. The study will look at historical changes in approaches to water pricing in New Zealand. 

"This will include the pricing structure in major cities in New Zealand to residential and industrial water supply and water disposal. There is a diversity of systems in place with different rationales.’’

Professor Jenkins says Hayman’s project will also contribute to how the costs of irrigation water supply are recovered. This is often achieved indirectly through share purchase in irrigation companies. Also, the added value of water infrastructure is often reflected in the price of land.

Hayman’s scholarship is one of about 150 research projects that UC students will be undertaking this summer. On top of that, almost 1000 students have applied to take part in summer courses.

For further information please contact:
Kip Brook
Media Consultant
Student Services and Communications
University of Canterbury
Ph: (03) 364 3325
Mobile: 027 5030 168
kip.brook@canterbury.ac.nz

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