Subscribers will soon begin digging a little deeper into their pockets to pay for consumption of potable water
From January 2020 the National Water & Sewerage Authority (NAWASA) will be implementing new water rates as part of upgrading it operation to ensure sustainability. The company’s General Manager Mr. Christopher Husbands disclosed this information during a press briefing on Tuesday.
‘’We are a statutory body who generated our income through the sale of water to meet our operating expenses and most importantly to provide for capital investment in the system and as such NAWASA’s must invest in further production to meet the growing demands of its population and economy”, Husbands revealed
He related that NAWASA was created in 1992 without any adjustments in the water rate at the time, with one rate increase dating back in 2010. He said therefore, since the last tariff the company has spent 37.8 million over the past eighteen years using internally generated funds on capital to improve its network each year.
He continued, it has gotten to the point that in order to move forward NAWASA has recognized the need for a tariff review after 2010. The process commenced in September 2018 with an open competitive tendering and after all the necessary evaluation was done a consulting company from the US called RATALIS was contracted in April to conduct the review and report. This was completed in October 2019.
Husbands further explained that part of the consultant’s report and recommendations to NAWASA states that if the rates are not adjusted, their projection is that the company would run a deficit in 2020, they will not meet the debt service coverage requirements of its lenders, there will be no cash in its fund balance by 2020 and their overall conclusion is that NAWASA’s current rates are insufficient.
According to the General Manager, the implementation of the tariff increase by NAWASA, is to have better control over the company’s capital investment schedule noting that in spite of the increase, Grenada continues to pay among the lowest in the region with very competitive and affordable rates.
“We can only improve the water sector if we put in the necessary capital investments to fix, develop, upgrade and improve what the infrastructure is out there. With a lot of our infrastructure over 40 years old; with an increased population and the infrastructure itself deteriorated, the necessary investments must be implemented, all of which is designed to get improved level of service in both reliability and quality.
The General Manager pointed out that for every two thousand, five hundred gallons of water used, domestic users will pay $9.48 per gallon, which is less than a cent per gallon and the non- domestic users have a fixed variable rate of $ 29.35 per thousand gallons used, which is basically three cent per gallons of water.