Water Metering in England and Wales
25 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2013 Last revised: 6 Feb 2016
Date Written: August 7, 2015
Water meters are necessary for tracking leaks, using prices to encourage conservation, and allocating costs in proportion to use. They are not necessary when water is abundant or costs are covered by taxes or transfers. This paper discusses the move to residential water metering in England and Wales. The basic impacts of the move --- lower metered demand and higher charges for heavy water users --- are predictable, but other impacts are controversial. An increase in "water poverty" among poorer families has attracted criticism and half-hearted solutions. Incomplete information on abstractions and leakage has cast doubt on environmental benefits. The paper ends with recommendations for improvement.
Keywords: Water meters, water conservation, equity, carbon
JEL Classification: D1, D6, H2, H42, I38, L95, Q25, Q56
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation