Water tariffs set to increase from July 1

Samoa can expect an increase in water tariffs come July 1, 2019. 

This was confirmed by the Samoa Water Authority (S.W.A.) Chief Executive Officer, Seugamaali'i Jammie Saena. 

However, she said wastewater tariffs will not increase.

According to the new changes, the rates for the domestic/household connections for less than 15m3 cubic meters per month will increase from $0.50 to $0.77, whereas 15-40m3 will rise from $1.40 to $1.67. But for more than 40m3 will increase from $1.90 to $2.17.

The new tariff for organisations and commercials’ connections for 1m3 - 40m3 will increase from $1.50 to $1.77 whereas more than 40m3 will increase from $1.90 to $2.27 – a cubic meter (m3) is equal to 1000 litres of water. 

Seugamaali'i added that the increase in water rates is to assist in meeting the operating costs of the organisation. 

“This is one of the few initiatives the authority has undertaken on its path to become financially independent. 

“The authority has engaged itself into consistent leak detection programs, replacement of aging infrastructure which may result in loss of water, provide marketing strategies to encourage payment of water bills, provide payment booths and programs to increase convenience to its customers, educate and implement awareness programs on how to use water wisely," she said, in response to questions from Samoa Observer.
She said the last time the authority made an increase in the rates was in 2009, and there are no plans for further increases. 

“The authority has maintained these costs up to now and there is no forecast of an increase in the near future, the authority will continue with the above approach.

“Water bills contribute only to operation and maintenance, not building the infrastructure as this is usually funded by donor funding - tariff is charged only to cover operation and maintenance.

“If it had to cover building or constructing infrastructure, we would have to increase tariff even more, that’s why SWA seeks out donor funding to assist with this as it keeps the tariff at the minimum to cover only the operation and maintenance of the current water systems," she added.

Since June 2018 the authority's total number of household and commercial customers stands at 22,313. Households account for 21,238 while commercial customers total 1,075.

Seugamaali'i said S.W.A. continues to ensure all people within its mandated areas have access to a reliable, clean and affordable water service.

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