The cost to operate the Region's water system is 90 per cent fixed.
It's like renting a car for a day; a $100 rental fee is charged to you regardless of how much gas you use or how many kilometers you drive.
In the case of water rates, costs for infrastructure like water and sewage treatment plants are similar to the car rental fee - they need to be covered regardless of how much they are used.
Due to the way the Region covers its costs, the decrease in consumption (from conservation efforts or rainy summers) means the amount of money charged per litre has to increase to cover the fixed costs. To recoup these costs, the water rate increases.
For 2010, the average family of four saw an increase of $2.41 a month from the Region. Additional costs come from your municipality.