Raise rates to hurt those who waste

I refer to the report "Lim: Water wastage may lead to higher tariff (The Star, 1st Aug).

It is heartening to note that Energy, water and Communication Ministry and the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association are embarking on a two-year water conservation campaign.

But it appears that this campaign is prompted by an imminent water shortage in Selangor and the Federal territory of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya in 2008.

Owing to the scarcity of water resources, particularly in Selangor, water conservation campaign should have been a long-term exercise to inculcate into consumers the importance of water conservation, which shall ultimately become a way of life.

By mere threatening consumers with a raise in water tariff would not be effective in water conservation. What the water authority should do is to immediately review the current structure of our water tariff.

Generally our water tariff for domestic consumption per household is structured in three blocks as follows:

(i) The first block is for the lifeline quantum of 15 to 20 cubic meters per month (cm/m);
(ii) The next block (20 to 35 cm/m) is for the use of conveniences such as water closets and the like and
(iii) The last block (exceeding 35 cm/m) is the penalty block for wasteful use.

To encourage water saving, the tariff for the third block should be raised significantly.

For example, the third block tariff for Selangor and the Federal territory of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya should be raised from RM1.70 to more than RM3.00 per cubic meter.

The above was published in The Star on August 3 2006.

nakedeyeview.com.my 2007