What is the value of integrated water, wastewater and stormwater service?
Water is essential to our daily lives. It keeps our community healthy, Halifax running, and our economy growing.
Water is a cup of tea, it’s our recreation, it keeps our produce fresh, is essential to preserving our natural environment, supporting agriculture and increasing our exports.
Wastewater and stormwater service help protect the environment and public health, as well as the receiving waters where it eventually flows.
All of this infrastructure is largely invisible within our community. Many of us do not understand what it takes to treat and deliver drinking water every day or how wastewater is cleaned and safely reused or returned to the environment. Many of us also don’t realize the importance of stormwater management, until there is a major storm event in our community that has an impact on our personal property, on transportation as well as goods and services.
The quality of life we enjoy here in Halifax would not be possible without water and the sound management of the infrastructure that fuels it.
Halifax Water Commitment
Halifax Water is committed to ensuring value to the customers and population that we serve by providing safe, high-quality integrated water services. As part of our mandate, we prudently operate and maintain large and complex systems for drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater to ensure these meet all public health, safety, and environmental requirements.
We manage approximately $1.4 B in assets with an estimated replacement value of $4 B. This infrastructure includes:
Calculating the Cost of Service
Halifax Water’s rates are based on the cost of providing the service. We operate on a break-even basis, and there is no component of profit built into the rates.
We have long-range integrated plans to ensure we meet future environmental requirements, have the capacity to support future growth, are renewing our existing assets and planning for climate change.
It is through collaboration, teamwork and planning that the utility can gain a clearer, longer-term understanding of its revenue requirements, which are then used to develop the cost of these services for our customers.
Our Value Proposition Through Service
Our approach is to ensure that all customers receive value for the services that they use.
Our value proposition is to provide services that are safe, reliable and affordable. We have some of the lowest rates in Canada.
As a municipally-owned, cost of service utility, we operate on a “break-even” basis. We manage a complex integrated ($1.4 B) water system that requires disciplined financial management and an ongoing commitment to customer service. This is the basis for developing a cost of service structure which must be approved by the NSUARB.
For every customer, they can know the value is the comfort in knowing that they have access to safe, high quality and reliable integrated water service(s) that they can be assured meet public health and environmental requirements.
Measuring Value Through Customer Satisfaction
Halifax Water's commitment to providing value to customers can only be measured through the people we serve. In late 2021 and early 2022, we asked Narrative Research to conduct a customer satisfaction survey so that we could gain feedback on our services from our customers. This data provides us with the information we need to ensure constant improvement. Based on the survey, Halifax Water customers told us the following: