Aqaba residents protest high costs of new monthly water bills

water meters sanitary equipment on dark backgroun
(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Following the transition to monthly water billing in Aqaba, many residents have expressed surprise in an “unacceptable” rise in the cost of their bills, Al-Ghad News reported.اضافة اعلان

As of 2023, the Aqaba Water Company began implementing a decision to divide consumption bands and issue water bills on a monthly instead of quarterly basis, issuing the first monthly bill at the end of January.

Residents of Aqaba protested the switch after they were surprised by unexpectedly costly bills in January, which, for some, totaled many times the value of their standard quarterly bills.

Citizens stressed that their consumption “has not changed at all”, especially since the winter season limits water consumption in the first place. They expressed fears that water bills will increase even more with the onset of summer, especially since the hot weather in Aqaba pushes residents to consume large quantities of water.

‘Changed equation’One Aqaba resident, Muhammad Zaid, said his water consumption has remained steady for the past year. “I used to pay about JD40 for water on my quarterly bill. But when the monthly bill was issued, I was surprised by an increase of more than JD80 on my bill, which totaled JD116.”

Citizen Abdullah Kreishan stated: "The value of the previous quarterly bill, based on a consumption of 75 cubic meters of water, was JD60. With the new arrangement, the value of consumption of the same amount exceeds JD160, which means that the company has changed its equation for the price of water consumed."

"This is unfair towards the citizen who receives services from the Aqaba Water Company,” he said, calling for a reconsideration of the meter price and the tariff difference.

“We are still in the winter season when water consumption is very low, and this is illogical and unacceptable," Kreishan added.

This new rise in the cost of water bills comes on top of another recent increase after digital meters were installed, citizens complained, calling on the government and the water company to reconsider the billing system and revert to quarterly bills in addition to changing the meters, which have placed a financial burden on Aqaba residents.

Water company comments
Regarding the increase of some bills, the water company commented that “only those who have high consumption or whose internal water networks are subject to smuggling/leakage may notice the difference. People with normal consumption and no network problems will not notice any difference at all.”

The company explained that the consumption bands have been divided into smaller segments. Instead of 18 cubic meters per segment, the new segments have a volume of 6 cubic meters. However, the tariff has not been changed and no additional fees have been applied to the monthly bills.

For clarification, the company said, the first band previously covered consumption from 0–18 cubic meters over the course of three months, at a value of JD7.21. Now, the first band covers 0–6 cubic meters at a price of JD2.5.

Within the previous tariff, the highest band began with consumption exceeding 126 cubic meters over the course of 90 days, whereas the highest band on the new bills begins with a consumption of more than 42 cubic meters over the course of 30 days.

‘No price changes’“Monthly billing reduces the financial burdens on citizens,” the company argued, stating that quarterly billing replaced a monthly cycle in 2012, and “no changes to the price of water have been imposed.”

Furthermore, “determining the tariff is the responsibility of the Ministry of Water, and all water companies, including the Aqaba Water Company and Miyahuna… simply apply the tariff set by the ministry”.

The company requested members of the public with inquiries to visit the customer service offices in Aqaba and submit their comments.

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