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Although billing water at different rates depending on the season could help boost conservation efforts and potentially reduce the need for Abbotsford and Mission to tap other sources, consultants for the city recommended last year against immediately implementing such rates in favour of tweaks to existing conservation programs.

Since being told they were in danger of running out of water a decade ago, Abbotsford and Mission have managed to cut consumption rates dramatically. That allowed the two municipalities to take a more measured approach toward finding a new source, and made residents’ decision to reject a proposal to tap Stave Lake look prescient.