Meters should mean no penalties
Water meters are installed under the principles of “user pays” to ensure the costs of water supply to be met by the actual consumer and proportional to their consumption.
There is also a belief that consumers will manage their own water consumption accordingly.
I find it very difficult to form an argument against this reasoning.
However, I have lived in another district that brought in water meters using the same logic and found that, in reality, the council “wanted their cake and eat it too”.
They still imposed water restrictions every summer and even ran advertising encouraging neighbours to dob in neighbours they saw using water contrary to the restrictions.
My problem is that if the user pays, then they must be able to consume water in any way they see fit and at any time. Their only responsibility is to pay for what they use.
Council’s sole responsibility, under their user pays philosophy, is to ensure the unrestricted supply of water at all times. So as paying users, can we expect unrestricted supply or suffer the “user pays” hypocrisy of restrictions and penalties?