Water bottling companies are paying an average 500 times less than ratepayers for each litre of water they’re allowed to use.
A Herald investigation into water fees set by every regional council around the country found bottlers were charged an average $0.003 – or one third of a cent – per cubic metre of water.
Comparatively in Auckland – Watercare charges $1.40 per cubic metre (1000 litres) for water piped to houses – while the rest of the country paid an average $1.60 per cubic metre.
‘Water companies are getting the same water but paying bugger all for it’ said water campaigner Jen Branje from the Bung the Bore group.
‘Why are ratepayers paying for something that corporates are getting almost for free?
It’s an unfair equation’.
The new details come as the debate over water continues to simmer – last week one West Coast company was granted permission to pump 800 million litres a year to a tanker bound straight for China – flaming further outrage about the loss of a precious commodity offshore.