The city of Montreal is concerned that water is being wasted, and is considering using water meters to encourage more frugal water use.

This spring, a study showed the Montreal Urban Community uses three times more water than Toronto, and some suspect the difference is because water meters are used in Toronto.

"It's three times higher than Toronto and four times higher than Paris. So, you see, we believe we have one of the (highest water consumption levels) in the world," says Rjean Lvesque, director of waste water treatment for Montreal.

Lvesque says the majority is coming from industry, businesses, public institutions and water main leaks.

800 meters would be installed

Businesses are already taxed for overconsumption, but now, Lvesque wants provincial and federal funding to pay for the installation of approximately 800 new water meters in public institutions, such as schools and hospitals.

"Let them find out what their consumption is. Let them compare between each other and make efforts to reduce it like everybody else," he says.

Lvesque says there are no plans yet to have water meters on private residences.