Problem: Do we have correct information on on the price of water at home?
Water is becoming costly and it is important to have it properly priced to maintain water supply and sanitation services. Underpricing leads to poor financing, lack of investment and, commonly, to neglect of the service. Nevertheless, water remains undervalued, even in water scare regions of the world, threatening the sustainability of many water supply and sanitation projects.
Underpricing of water services can adversely impact the poor, who remain unconnected while service providers fail to meet demand as they struggle to maintain existing infrastructure. In turn, unconnected water users must often resort to buying water at a much higher price from vendors, leading to the perverse situation where those with the least means must pay the most for water.
Almost all water utilities now have their websites where they put water tariffs (rates, prices, cost to cosumers, etc.). However, it is like your phone bill: surcharges, taxes, rouming fees, govermental and environmental additions. And at the end, from the nominal price of US$1 per m3 you get 150-200% on top.
Comparisons are also difficult: who can tell by heart how many gallons in 100 cubic feet? Whats is a price per cubic meter of water if 1000 gallons cost US$2.53 + taxes (see above).
Plus many rates are dependent on consumption. Add to that currency exchanges and you will understand the magnitude of the problem.
How can you, the best hacker in the World, find the true water residential price in your city (or another city you like) according to the IBNET standard:
The 2011 IBNET water tariff database reports the water price charged to the domestic users per m3 for the first 15 m3 consumed through the 20 mm (5/8 inch) pipe according to the formula:
Tariff per m3 = [connection fee +volumetric charge per 15 m3 per month + taxes and other fees]/15/[currency exchange rate]
|per ERU (Equivalent Residential Unit)|
The result is: Price per m3 for water and sewer services in DC
Once the information is collected and tools developed it will be posted on the Global Map of Water Tariffs that will be hosted at the www.ib-net.org