Scilly to have compulsory water meters?
All islanders may have to install water meters if the water authority can prove that Scilly's supply is "stressed".
Senior Manager for Infrastructure Craig Dryden said at the recent St Mary's public meeting that metering will be an option for everyone when South West Water starts running the water services on the islands.
He said: "It’s been proven that if you have a meter in your house you are likely to conserve somewhere between 20 and 30% of your water consumption. If it’s pay as you go there’s more of an inventive to save water. Unfortunately we’ve just never had the resources to fit domestic metres in all our properties.
"One thing we’re looking at in terms of the legislation moving forward is potentially to have what’s called Universal Metering, so everyone has a meter. Under the Water Industry Act people have a choice whether they have a meter or not but if you can prove that your water is stressed, like in areas of the South East and East Anglia, then Ofwat may force Universal Metering. My view is that with what we’ve experienced in the last year, we probably fit that description."
He continued: "Everyone will have a choice in terms of water metering if the transfer to South West Water goes ahead, and there could be potential that everybody gets a meter if we get Universal Metering. One of the opportunities particularly for the Smart Islands is smart metering, which has been quite difficult to roll out for the big water companies on the mainland because there have been all sorts of logistical challenges. So that’s an opportunity for a private water company coming over to the Isles of Scilly to do a bit of experimentation."
Craig added that the timeline for the transfer to South West Water has been delayed due to Brexit and it is unlikely to go ahead before April 2020.