GWCL cites desalination plant debt, galamsey impact as justification for higher tariffs

The Ghana Water Company has listed the debt incurred from the operation of the Desalination plant as one of the reasons why it is requesting a 300 percent increment in water tariffs.

The company also listed the impact of water pollution as a result of illegal mining and sand winning as another factor for the proposed adjustment.

Making a presentation, the Manager of Corporate Planning Monitoring and Evaluation at GWCL, Seth Eric Atiapah, said these developments negatively affect their operations.

“It has caused a lot of cost to the utility. We have to use sometimes, two times more, chemicals to get the same volume of water.”

Apart from chemicals, illegal mining also causes silt to build up in the rivers, which contributes to cost.

“You have to dredge and it is so much cost to us. The sad thing is even when you extract the water to treat, you may have to use about 40 per cent to just backwash and throw it away again,” Mr. Atipah explained.

Other justification

The GWCL argues that while the average tariff per cubic metre in 2019 was 1.27 USD, the same was reduced to USD 1.13 as a result of cedi depreciation.

The GWCL argues that this has affected its ability to carry out repairs and replacements of aged and obsolete equipment and pipelines.

For the GWCL, the current domestic tariff of GHS3.29 per cubic metre to consumers within 0-5 cubic metres is less than what the poor in rural areas pay, which is about GHS10.

To justify its case for the increment, the Ghana Water Company Limited says it is saddled with a monthly loan payment of $7.93 million which is 47.15 percent of its average monthly revenue.

The GWCL says it has no option but to recover the loans through tariffs hence its demand for a 343 percent increase in tariffs whereas ECG is demanding 148 percent.

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