New water charges for 2021 announced - Solomon Star News

New water charges for 2021 announced

17 February 2021

SOLOMON Water has announced an increase in water charges for 2021 as part of its plan to improve water services in the city.

In a statement on Tuesday, Solomon Water said, it strives to provide its customers with safe and reliable water and wastewater services. 

It said, back in 2012, Solomon Water used to supply water for around 5 hours per day. With the many improvements that they are undertaking, their supply duration is now over 22 hours per day.

“And we are striving to provide a 24 hours water service to our customers in the near future.”

In meeting the evolving regulatory requirements, water supply needs, and customer expectations in the future, Solomon Water announces to its customers that as of 3 February, there has been an increase in water tariffs. 

The new tariff represents only an 83 cents increase per Kilolitre (tonne) of water for the lowest domestic tariff band, it stated. 

Solomon Water said, as part of its ongoing “We Are With You” campaign, the increase will be aimed at improving reliable water services to its customers and this includes Kongulai water treatment plant, renovation of the White River bore field, increasing production in the Kombito area, and upgrades to various provincial supplies.

Solomon Water said it appreciates the difficulties to customers at present due to wet weather affecting the water catchment areas at Kongulai and Kombito.

“And we are taking steps to try and reduce the impacts caused by the illegal activities that are causing the dirty water,” the statement said. 

The rehabilitated White River bore field will be commissioned in March and this will allow ongoing water production when other supplies are shut down. 

The Kongulai water treatment plant will also shortly start construction and be completed in late 2022, allowing Solomon Water to produce water regardless of weather and catchment conditions. 

“20c from every kilolitre of water sold will go towards future protection of the water catchment areas.

“To assist with this effort, the government through the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification and the Ministry of Finance has approved an increase in the water tariff and the commercial monthly standing charge which are now in effect. 

“It reflects the cost of delivery of water and wastewater services and the continuous improvements that we will be undertaking to provide safe and reliable water services in our areas of operations. Other minor changes, including new domestic service connections and other fee decreases, have also been approved,” the statement said.

Board Chairman Carson Korowa thanked the Government for working with them and supporting the need for adequate funding for improvements to Solomon Water’s services. 

“We acknowledge that some households may struggle to afford basic services but note that the water supplied by Solomon Water meets World Health Standards 98% of the time and is safe to drink. 

“The new tariff represents only an 83 cents increase per Kilolitre (tonne) of water for the lowest domestic tariff band,” he said. 

The increase in tariff is partly driven by high electricity costs and the need to provide their share of funds into the significant donor-funded upgrade program. 

“We also need to fund loan repayments to Government for some of the donor-funded works. We ask Government to assist us with further donor grant funds instead of loans to assist in keeping water affordable to all our customers.

“We appreciate that clean water and good sanitation are essential for people to remain healthy, and Solomon Water’s vision of “Safe water for a healthy nation” is at the heart of us working with our stakeholders, communities, and customers in improving our services. 

Improved water and sanitation lead to better health outcomes, healthier children, less time off school and work, and reduced health costs.

“We’re with you in improving value, improving services, and improving for the future - all aimed at delivering our vision of “safe water for a healthy nation,” the statement said.