Increased water rates coming – Trinidad & Tobago

Increased water rates are coming.

In two weeks time, the Trinidad & Tobago Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) will be presenting its justification for increased water rates increase to the Relegated Industries Commission (RIC).

If approved, it would be the first increase in 28 years, Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales said on Tuesday night while speaking at the “Conversations with Prime Minister” at the Bon Air West ­Community Centre.

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“You cannot run a utility company where to extract and treat water it is costing you over $2 billion to get water into people’s homes and your rates account for about $200 million and cannot even pay the salaries of workers,” he said.

He said between 2010 and now, the Government subsidy to WASA amounted to $23 billion.

The Minister said, however, that WASA could not ask the population to pay more until its levels of service were improved.

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Only then would a rate increase be more acceptable, he said, adding that WASA now had a model to transform the utility company.

Gonzales also announced that WASA would be eliminating the need for ­turncocks.

Digitising operations

He said the “turncock man (who is responsible for turning on water at the mains) is king in WASA”. He said sometimes when people call, saying they don’t have water, it is not about there is no water but because the turncock forgets to turn on the valve. “All that would come to an end. We are going to digitise the operation of every single valve in Trinidad and Tobago,” he declared.

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Asked whether the transformation at WASA will affect the current staffing levels, the Prime Minister said nobody ought to be employed who is not making a contribution to the workplace.

…Increased water rates coming  Trinidad & Tobago Express Newspapers

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