THE METROPOLITAN Waterworks Authority (MWA) is considering increasing the water rate as it has been carrying 15-20% in additional cost with the higher electricity price being a heavy burden, TV Channel 7 said today (Apr. 24).
Mr. Manit Panem, MEA’s governor, admitted that he was studying a new water tariff structure as the rate cannot be pegged at the current level any further.
“In the past, the government did not want the water price to rise thus MWA had to freeze it and carry the cost on its own. But now every aspect of the cost of tap water production has increased considerably. Despite trying to manage all angles of the cost, especially electricity bills, the price just can’t be held down any further,” he said.
The main cost of tap water production are as follows:
– Paying 150 million baht a year in land and building tax levied by the government on state property even though MWA did not previously have to pay this tax;
– The cost of raw water paid to the Royal Irrigation Department is 3 million baht a day;
– Electricity bill has increased by 20-30% or about 20 million baht per month with the fuel tariff (Ft) rate having jumped more than 90 satang during January-April 2023 period;
– Cost of laying pipelines is 100 million baht per year.
The current water rate for households is 8.50 baht per cubic metre while production cost has risen to 11 baht a cubic metre, he said, but while MWA asked the government to increase the price to this level five-six years ago the Interior Ministry did not give approval and asked that cost-cutting measures be implemented.
Mr. Mongkol Valyasewi, deputy governor of the Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA), said that his agency too is studying a new water tariff structure as its production cost has likewise jumped by 15-20% due to higher electricity and chemical prices.
The agency is going to ask for a price hike after maintaining the current rate for over 10 years. Work on the new pricing structure will be completed in two months’ time and proposed to the new government for approval.
If the government refuses to increase the price then it would have to advise the agency about what to do next as it has already cut costs as previously told to do when this request was tabled.
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