METERAGE AND WATER CONSERVATION.
A recent supplementary report of the Committee on Fire Prevention of the National Board of Fire Underwriters, on water conditions in Newport, R. I., states that unless rigid conservation is observed the water company supplying the city will have to face a serious shortage. The remedy suggested in the report, as might logically have been expected, is that of meterage. To quote the report: “The material increase in population supplied, together with the unrestricted use of water, has resulted in a reduction in the storage to a point where an acute shortage may be expected in thirty to forty days if rainfall is far below the normal, and will be inevitable in 1919, if the present training camp plans are carried out and there is no curtailment of waste. The most feasible solution appears to be the immediate installation of meters and a continuation of the present policy of conserving the use of water, which should be extended to the Government establishments; these last have apparently disregarded the company’s request for conservation, judging by the material increase in water taken by them during October. The experience of a large number of American cities, which have installed meters under similar conditions, shows that the consumption can be reduced from 120 gallons per capita to H; gallons per capita by the installation of meters on approximately 60 per cent of the service connections. Should this be done in Newport, enough water will be available for some time to come.” The report further suggests, while certain contemplated improvements in the water system arc important, that these should on no account take precedence over the immediate metering of services to reduce the waste of water. ‘1’his is only another instance which proves the contention so often put forward by this journal that the one and most important method of water conservation is the meterage system. Not only is this a logical conclusion, but it is a fact proved by the experiences of many cities who have already installed meters almost up to one hundred per cent. Aside from the result of a great saving of water, hitherto wasted through carelessness, there has resulted a general satisfaction among the consumers when the system has had a chance to show results. These show that bills are reduced without any apparent curtailment of the water used.