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By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, May 24: Ministry of Utility and Telecommunication (MUT) Sarawak has proposed water conservation surcharge for consumption exceeding 35,000 liters per month per household.
Its Minister Datuk Julaihi Narawi said in Sarawak, the average water consumption for the domestic category in urban areas is 270 liters per day per person, which is equivalent to 32,400 liters per month per household.
This is by taking into account that the occupancy average in a house unit is four persons.
Meanwhile, the average water consumption for the domestic category in rural areas is 160 liters per day per person, equivalent to 19,200 liters per month for the whole house.
“Based on this average, the average water consumption throughout Sarawak is not more than 35,000 liters per month per household.
“Thus, a water conservation surcharge for water consumption in excess of 35,000 liters per month throughout the house should be implemented,” he said when presenting his winding up speech in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting today.
He said the implementation of water conservation surcharge is in line with the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 target to reduce water consumption to 165 liters per person per day.
For the record, the Sarawak government has spent RM305 million to cover the high subsidy for treated water supply to domestic consumers in the State for the year 2020 and 2021.
Generally, the cost of water production is between RM1.04 to RM1.78 per 1,000 liters. But the water tariff the government impose on domestic consumers is between 44 cent to 61 cent per 1,000 liters.
The State government also provides subsidies through the Free Water Programme for the first RM5 of domestic water bills from January 2020 until present. Until April 2022, the total subsidy for this programme amounts to RM68.2 million.
On the other hand, the Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance Package (BKSS) under MUT for the water bill discount from 2020 until April 2022 is RM101.3 million which benefits 647,000 consumers. — DayakDaily