SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): Water will soon cost consumers an additional 50 cents per cubic m, starting with a 20-cent increase in April 2024 and a 30-cent rise in April 2025.
This means that most households will fork out an additional S$4 to $9, excluding goods and services tax (GST), for their monthly water bill by 2025, said national water agency PUB on Wednesday.
In 2020, the average monthly consumption of water was 15 cubic m for condominiums and 16.2 cubic m for HDB flats.
Lower- and middle-income households will get help to offset some of the price increase. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong will announce cost-of-living support measures to provide more relief for Singaporean households on Thursday.
The last water price hike of 30 per cent happened in 2017. The upcoming 50-cent rise – bringing the cost of 1 cubic m, or 1,000 litres, of water to $3.24 – is an 18 per cent increase.
The price hike between 1997 and 2000 saw water prices rising by 120 per cent for households.
The upcoming increase comes amid rising living costs, GST hikes and higher transport fares, and the water agency did not take the decision lightly, said a PUB spokesman.
“The water price increase is not popular, but necessary,” the spokesman said.
“We understand that it can draw strong reactions amid the other cost of living pressures. That’s something we are very mindful of, so PUB does not take this decision lightly.”
It has been increasingly more expensive to produce and supply water, PUB said, and there is a need to invest more in local water infrastructure – especially in weather-resilient Newater and desalinated water – to prepare Singapore for drier days ahead due to climate change.
And Singapore’s water demand, which is currently at about 1.95 million cubic m – or 440 million gallons – daily, is expected to almost double by 2065.
Singapore has four sources of water: imports from Malaysia, water from local catchments, Newater and desalinated seawater.