GEORGE TOWN: Penang will double its water conservation surcharge to 48 sen for every 1,000 litres for usage exceeding 35,000 litres per month effective Sept 1.
However, Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) general manager Jaseni Maidinsa said in a statement that the increase would not have any impact on 72% of the domestic water consumers because they used less than 35,000 litres per month (those with water bills below RM21.40).
Jaseni said the surcharge increase was aimed at encouraging prudent use of water, as domestic usage of water in the state was high.
"Domestic water supply in the state is subsidised and the water supply service is good, the public tends to use water excessively. However, Penang is short of water and we have to think of the future.
"Kedah has warned that it may impose a charge for raw water (drawn by Penang from a river flowing into the state from Kedah) and the federal government has yet to begin work on the raw water supply from Sungai Perak.
"As such, we have to conserve water now to ensure that we have sufficient water for all by 2020," he said.
Jaseni said PBAPP could no longer afford the RM65.4mil annual water subsidy to domestic consumers, which he added had reached an all-time high of 302 litres per capita per day as at June 30 this year, compared to only 294 litres per capita per day in 2012.
Based on the Malaysia Water Industry Guide 2012, the national average usage in the country was 210 litres per capita per day. In 2010, the United Nations had recommended water usage of 50 to 100 litres per capita per day.
Jaseni said the capital expenditure forecast for important water supply projects in Penang this year was RM99.9mil and added that it was necessary to ensure good and constant water supply in the state.
"As such, we need the cooperation and involvement of everyone to save water at home. We want the people in the state to realise that water is an invaluable resource and should be used more prudently. The primary objective is to conserve water," he said.
Jaseni advised the people to visit the PBAPP website at www.pba.com.my for tips on conserving water. - Bernama