Water more expensive if you use a lot, cheaper if you make the effort

Flanders is putting a "flexible" price tag on tap water that you are consuming at home. Water will become more expensive per amount used for big consumers, while it will be relatively cheaper for those consuming less. The measure is meant to further reduce water consumption in Flanders, Environment Minister Joke Schauvliege (CD&V) announced.

The daily water consumption per person (calculated per annum) dropped below the symbolic threshold of 100 litres last year, Het Nieuwsblad and De Standaard report. It was 99 litres per day for the average Fleming, coming from 101. It's the first time it has dropped below 100.

Schauvliege wants to take the momentum and aims for a further reduction. A first measure was announced earlier: the first 15 cubic metres for free has been scrapped. A second one is being announced today: if you consume a lot of water, you will pay more per litre. This means that your bill will go up twice: once because of your higher consumption, and a second time because it will cost you more per litre.

Only big consumers will be hit: "The total invoice will not go up unless you are really using a lot", Schauvliege explains. This could be because you regularly wash your car using tap water instead of rain water from a tank, which is one of the habits experts would like us to drop. The exact rates still haven't been released, but social corrections will be made, e.g. for households with big families (although the number of persons is automatically taken into account) and for poor people.