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Monthly water bills is not prelude for price rise — minister

Water Ministry
(File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Ministry of Water and Irrigation’s recent decision to issue water bills at the end of each month, instead of the current quarterly billing system, raised eyebrows as consumers suspect the move is a prelude for raising water prices.اضافة اعلان

The suspicion is not completely baseless. Many Jordanians still remember the words of Water Minister Mohamad Al-Najjar, who said in media statements four months ago that no increase is expected in water prices this year, but that “prices may rise slightly at the end of 2023”.

Najjar, however, told Jordan News that issuing water bills on a monthly basis “aims is to relieve consumers and reduce losses as there are some people who have a high bill that accumulates over a period of three months, and cannot pay it all at once”.

He said that it will also “enable consumers to know if there is a water leakage by having their water meter read at the end of each month”.

Former Water Minister Motasem Saidan told Jordan News that this issue was debated earlier, but “did not come up with any positive results”.

He explained that it will “not have a positive impact on water conservation, but with this decision, the ministry is likely to incur extra financial costs.”

An official source, who insisted on not being identified further for the sensitivity of the matter, told Jordan News that the decision will cost the ministry extra expenses. The official said that includes hiring additional staff to help with meter readings each month, in addition to staff transportation costs, which will triple.

Despite the government’s denial, citizens suspect that there is a tendency to raise water prices will rise likelyhood following this decision.

Medyan Ali, a civil servant, told Jordan News that he stands against this decision. “I’m afraid that there’s a plan to raise water prices,” he said.

Nemer Al-Momani, 32, who lives in a leased apartment, told Jordan News that the decision coincided with a period of frequent water cuts over the past summer. He said that “prompted many consumers to use water tanks, at their own expense”.

“I think there will be a rise in water prices,” he sighed.

According to official statements, the summer of 2022 witnessed a significant shortage of drinking water, especially with the arrival of about 3 million visitors to the Kingdom from the beginning of May until the end of September.

The pressure and the severe shortage of water has been dealt with on a timely basis, whereas the ministry is working to secure new sources of water to meet the needs of the coming years until the completion of the national carrier project.

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