Even in Canada, where water prices are low, aging infrastructure and rising costs are a problem

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Roy Brouwer, Executive Director of the Water Institute and University Research Chair in Water Resources Economics, contributed to an article recently published by Great Lakes Now, an initiative of Detroit Public TV and PBS.

The article is part of a two-part series looking at the cost of water in Ontario and Michigan.

The article argues that, decades of underinvestment has forced municipalities to raise water rates dramatically to upgrade what should have been fixed decades ago. As a result, some of the highest rates for water in Ontario are in cities and towns within the Great Lakes watershed, including Thunder Bay on Lake Superior, Windsor on Lake St. Clair, Kingston on Lake Ontario, and Chatham-Kent on Lake Erie.

“But while water rates have increased, Canadian water rates are still some of the lowest in the world,” said Brouwer.

“We get clean drinking water from the tap at a very low price,” he said. “I understand that there is concern about increases in water rates, but if you compare these rates with bottled water, the price is really very low. And that [gap between our knowledge of water rates and its actual delivery cost] is maybe a reason why Canada is such a big freshwater consumer,” he told Great Lakes Now.

Read the entire article by Andrew Reeves here.