The first of 500 water meters have been installed across the Queenstown Lakes district to help understand water use.
The installations began last week, and will be completed by June.
The 12-month trial – backed by council and last November – includes apartments, lifestyle blocks, businesses and homes.
In most cases the meters will be installed outside the property boundary.
Queenstown council’s infrastructure general manager Peter Hansby says the project is not necessarily a precursor to household water charges – but he didn’t rule it out.
“We are a long way from concluding that volumetric water charging is the most effective tool to manage water demand and reduce the future cost of water and wastewater network.”
The project will enable the council to assess the costs of installing meters across different schemes in the district; the technical issues associated with meter installations; the potential reduction in water usage as a result of metering; the water leakage occurring at present on private property; and the relative costs and benefits of metering.
QLDC staff will contact property owners during the trial to get information about occupancy and other factors which determine water usage.
This information will help the council refine the way it calculates future water demand.
The trial is in addition to water metering already undertaken in Luggate and most of Lake Hayes, where properties are connected to water meters, used to assess water use.
Otago Daily Times