by Linda Straker
- NAWASA embarking on a 10-year capital infrastructural development project
- Current water and sewage infrastructure is between 40 to 50 years old
- Low-end domestic consumers will pay under EC$3 increase
Christopher Husbands, General Manager of the National Water and Sewage Authority (NAWASA), said that the rate increase applicable as of January 2020 will increase the annual income of the authority by EC$7 million.
The authority which currently has 39,000 consumers, is embarking on a 10-year capital project that will see infrastructural development and adoption of new consumer service systems for billing and metering among other things, that will cost EC$178 million.
“Some of the current infrastructure is between 40 to 50 years old,” Husbands said. He explained that the goal of the 10-year project is to provide consumers with better service that will positively affect the way water is delivered and stored, to how customers are billed and can make payment.
“We will be replacing all current water meters,” he said, explaining the current meters are analogue systems and are more than 20 years old. The replacement is part of adopting new information technology system that will cost EC$45 million.
Providing a broad breakdown of the 10-year project, the general manager said that other changes will include, but are not be limited to pipeline upgrade which will cost EC$85 million and production facilities which will cost EC$25million.
“Water infrastructure is expensive,” said Husbands as he called on customers to understand that the minor increase will provide the authority with the ability to undertake the necessary changes. “We need to have the cash flow to take on the work.”
The new rate will see low-end domestic consumers paying under EC$3 increase while middle and upper-end consumers will pay between EC$5 and EC$10 increase at the maximum. Commercial users will see between EC$10 and EC$20 increase based on the volume consumed.
Currently, domestic consumers whose monthly usage is less than 2,800 gallons pay EC$8.10. Under the new tariff structure the amount will be EC$9.48 while a commercial consumer who uses less than 2,800 gallons and currently pays EC$21.35 will have a new rate of EC$29.35.