27 January, 2011

Cost of Living :: Water

Water here in the land of 10,000 lakes is fairly inexpensive.  In the merry old land of Oz though, it costs quite a bit more.

While calculating the cost of living in various cities (I'm going to use Melbourne as an example here), we looked up everything from electricity and garbage to water and sewer.  Here is how they compare.

Water in Melbourne is purchased through City West Water Limited (there might be other organizations, but this is the one we looked at).  The have a base charge of AU$38.53 per quarter (three months) to be hooked up to the water system.  After that water is billed in a steps.

StepLiters Per DayCost per 1,000 Liters
Step 10-440AU$1.5427
Step 2440-880AU$1.8102
Step 3880+AU$2.6745

Our water bill in Minnesota comes out to $13.53 per month and is measured in 1,000's of cubic feet.  Doing the conversion between that and liters was a simple matter of google-fu.  Divide that number by the average number of days per month, which is 30.44 (as our water is billed monthly here) and we got our daily water usage.

The water bill for our little city gets measured out like this:

Gallons Per Month
Cost per 1,000 Gallons
Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
Step 5
Step 6

In Melbourne, there is a base monthly fee of AU$38.53 per quarter (an average of  AU$12.86 per month).  In Andover, MN USA there is a base monthly fee of US$5.13.

With all that in mind, we sat down to calculate our Australian water bill, given our current usage.  This is with the understanding that we will not have 12,000 gallon months there as we will be significantly downsizing in the lawn department.

So.... drumroll....

US Water Bill: US$218.13 per year, with an average of US$18.18 per month
Australian Water Bill: AU$741.69 per year with an average of AU$61.81 per month.

We can expect our water bill to go up by about 340%

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