Communications and Works Minister Kye Rymer has indicated that the government is currently facing a shortage of water meters in the territory.
He told lawmakers that, as of April 2023, there were more than 500 customers who had applied for meters from the Water and Sewerage Department (WSD) and were still awaiting service.
According to Rymer, his ministry is in the process of procuring some 300 meters and has already requested to purchase 6,000 additional meters through a Schedule of Additional Provisions (SAP) that was passed in the House of Assembly previously.
The Minister disclosed, however, that just $500,000 was approved in SAP number-two passed in July 2023, which only allows for purchasing up to 3000 meters.
It was explained that the WSD presently charges consumers without meters by estimating the bill to a national value. He said this is sometimes done by referring to the last known historical information over a year or the average consumption when the meter was working.
In other instances, the charges applied are based on a fixed or flat rate of one thousand gallons per month, depending on the occupancy for the number of persons living in the dwelling.
Rymer told the House that the department’s projected revenue loss for using this method is not known. However, the minister said the department is working to upgrade the system and standardise it.
He further told the House that the new meters that are being installed now allow for data to be collected remotely.
The minister also said the government is taking steps to move the status of the Department of Water and Sewerage to that of a statutory board.
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