Time To Review Water Tariff – MWA

Posted on April 25, 2011. Filed under: Water resource |

(Bernama) — The Malaysian Water Association (MWA) has proposed that water utility companies in the country review the current water tariff structure in their respective states as a sustainable measure to face an impending water crisis.

MWA president Ahmad Zahdi Jamil said this was because the current tariff does not promote water sustainability and besides being too cheap, it was also not punitive towards excessive use of water.

“Major states in Malaysia will be facing severe water shortage in 2014 if measures are not taken to curb excessive wastage and high non-revenue water (NRW) levels,” he told reporters after the MWA’s 23rd Annual General Meeting held here, today.

Citing Johor and Penang as examples, he said domestic water tariff in Johor was the highest among states in Peninsula Malaysia with RM0.61 per cubic meter compared with Penang which is the cheapest at RM0.20 per cubic meter.

Difference in tariff also affected the level of water consumed, with consumers in Johor consuming 205 litre per capita per day in 2009 compared with 286 litre per capita per day by consumers in Penang, he said.



Ahmad Zahdi said according to the Water Sustainability Index (WSI) the availability and usage of water in Malaysia had shown a drop from 64 percent in 1992 to 33 percent in 2002, a reflection that the country’s water resources are rapidly depleting and have been managed unsustainably.

He said the timely review must take into consideration the affordability for the poor consumers and its ability to increase water conservation among the people.

“Increase in water tariff must modeled in such a way as not to burden the poor and it should not be done drastically. In the long run, the increase must reflect the recoverable cost,” he stressed.

Malaysia recorded the highest water usage and has the cheapest tariff among countries in Asean.

On average, Malaysians consumed 280 litres of water daily, higher than Singapore (155 litre), the Philippines (175 litres), and Indonesia (130 litres).



Ahmad Zahdi also said the NRW problems which were among others caused by pipe leakages and illegal connections should also be seriously addressed.

He said in 2009, the average NRW among the states stood at 36.6 percent, with Pahang being the highest at 59.9 percent and Selangor the lowest at 19 percent.

He said the association had proposed a resolution to the federal government on the issue and hoped it would come up with appropriate allocations to address the problems.

“We need to holistically and strategically address the NRW issue in a proper manner,” he added.

The association has about 2,100 members who are mostly industry players, academicians, experts and individuals.



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