Sydney's water-guzzling households will be hit with hefty excess charges under a scheme to be announced by the Carr Government.
The Government also plans to impose tough price penalties on Sydney Water if it takes more from dams than will be replaced naturally.
From 2005, households that consume above the average of 300 kilolitres a year should expect to pay as much as $5 for each additional kilolitre. Water below the threshold will remain relatively cheap at about 98 cents a kilolitre.
Is this what's known as 'soaking the rich'?
More seriously, the top 20% of households use 40% of the water. Conservation is better than straining the Sydney basin with a new dam or importing water from other catchment areas.