Shoura to study ‘high’ water bills

Shoura to study ‘high’ water bills
Updated 29 March 2016

Shoura to study ‘high’ water bills

Shoura to study ‘high’ water bills

JEDDAH: The Shoura Council is expected to study over the next two weeks a report by the Ministry of Water and Electricity on the increase in water tariffs announced in December.
This follows a heated debate among members of the consultative body in Riyadh on water tariffs being charged recently, including complaints raised by consumers, according to a report in a local publication on Monday. Members were discussing a report on the desalination of water in the country.
The ministry decided to raise the tariffs for water and sanitation services provided to government bodies and large industrial and commercial establishments by 50 percent starting Dec. 16. There were also price increases for individual consumers.
One member reportedly criticized the decision saying that some consumers had recorded a 500 percent increase in their bills. Another member said the price should not have been increased without a proper study.
Ali Al-TIkhis, head of the Shoura’s committee on water, agriculture and the environment, said the new prices were not discussed with members of the committee. However, the committee would be studying the situation.
Mohammed Reda, a Shoura member, said many consumers had stopped paying their bills because the water increases coincided with fuel and electricity increases.
Reda said the price rises should only have been done after an extensive campaign to develop a culture of saving resources in the country. He urged the ministry to reconsider the increases for the sake of consumers.