Fort St. John officials are crediting water meters for a significant drop in overall water consumption across the city.

The City has been monitoring monthly water usage since 2006 – when the meters were installed – to see if the meters would make a difference in water consumption habits, says City Manager Dianne Hunter.

In four years, that drop has been fairly significant. The city has seen an average 20.7 per cent reduction per month in water usage since 2006. That drop translates to a 826,466,000 cubic metre decrease in water usage for 2010 over 2006.

The numbers are from the city as a whole and include residential, commercial and municipal uses. Hunter says water usage throughout the city has dropped overall every year since 2006, even with slight increases during certain months.

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Hunter also says the water conservation measures have meant significant savings for the city including having to use less electricity – for pumping water – and using less chlorine for treating the water, which is reflected in the City’s operating budget.

She says the decrease means water and sewer rates may not have to be increased.