OK, here is what I have found out about usage – with graphs and tables and oodles of info for you below.

There is a public report called Tofino Water Shortage Response Plan, put together by consultants Koers & Associates Engineering Ltd. in 2005 (click on the title if you want to read it).  It is from 2005 – one year before our big water shortage – and the usage data in it are from 2004.  So the facts and figures in it would not be totally accurate for 2009, but it is all that there is publicly available right now.  I urge the municipality to release some more current figures about usage to us – since billing is already being divided up by class e.g. Residential, Commercial Accommodation/Food, Processing etc. it should be a very easy job to compile totals of both usage and revenue under those very same categories.

The most interesting stuff comes from pages 7 through 10 of the report (pages 14 to 17 of the pdf file), which divides usage up by category for 2004. It lists the largest consumers (table reproduced at the very bottom of this post), and breaks down metered usage by category, and also breaks down total usage by category.  Total unmetered usage includes sewer flushing (5% of the annual total) and unaccounted usage, i.e. leakage (27.8% of the annual total).  That amounts to about one third of our annual water draw from Meares Island – a concern that Keith Gibson emphasized at last might’s meeting.  Here is the table from page 10 of that report, and also a pie diagram I plotted from this same table:

Tofino water 200517Tofino water Pie ChartImportant things that come out of this include:

1.  Residential use accounts for about 30% of our total water production – but don’t forget that this includes a lot of tourist accommodation, all the vacation rentals and B&Bs.

2.  Residences (as defined here, anyway – would be interesting to see how much of that is really occupied by residents and not tourist accommodation) are a significant user of water – and since residential rates are significantly higher than commercial rates, it means that we residents are a significant subsidizer of the village water system (to see those rates, look at the table on yesterday’s post, or at the graph below).

3.  Water usage divided up by quarter (page 9 of the report) shows that the first quarter of the year is the lowest quarter by far.  The second and third quarters are about equal (i.e. April through September), and together account for about 63% of our annual water consumption, whereas only about 37% of the total is consumed from October through March.

4.  The breakdown of usage is pretty much the same year-round, except for the category of seafood processing (page 9 of the report).  Seafood processing accounts for 3.0% of annual consumption, but most of that is over the summer months.  Seasonally, it accounts for 4.6% of usage April through September, but only 0.3% of usage over the winter months.

5.  28% of our water is lost through leakage!  And another 5% is used for flushing sewers!  So only about 67% of our water consumption is actually “metered” consumption – that is a huge loss, and dealing with that problem would solve all of our problems.  This should be a priority.

OK, here is some of the other promised info.

Tofino summer water rates per cubic metre

Tofino summer water rates per cubic metre

First up, this is one of the graphs that Edward Henley printed for me.  This shows exactly the same info I put in the table yesterday, about water rates.  The price per cubic metre steps up with increased consumption.  As you can also see, residents (the blue line) pay the highest rates by far of any user – except for one-room hotels (are there any?).  As I said yesterday, hotel rates are complicated because they vary according to how many rooms they have.  So I have drawn on the graph what the rates for a 10-room and a 50-room hotel would be – and from that you can see that hotels actually have the cheapest rates of anyone, other than those processing plants.  (I still would like to know why the fish plants scored such an exceptionally low-low rate).

OK, here is another graph from Edward:

Tofino annual water usage and precipitation dataI am not sure if this is for a specific year or if it is an average – but that doesn’t matter so much as what the point of it is: Demand is highest when supply is lowest.

And finally, here is the table from page 7 of the report showing who the biggest consumers were.  Remember, this is for 2004, so it is not necessarily very accurate for 2009 – but at least it gives us some idea of where our water goes.

Largest Tofino water users consumers 2004