The new prices will be raised by around 10 percent every year until 2013, the city People’s Committee announced at a press briefing last week.
VietNamNet Bridge - Ho Chi Minh City will provide clean water at prices almost double existing rates from March this year to meet higher demand, the municipal administration has affirmed.
The lowest price, for individuals using up to four cubic meters each a month, will be raised from VND2,700 a cubic meter to VND4,000 in 2010.
For those using 4-6 cubic meters each a month, the unit price will go up from the current VND5,400 to VND7,500 in 2010 and larger volumes will cost VND10,000 a cubic meter instead of VND8,000.
Manufacturing establishments will pay VND6,700 per cubic meter in 2010, while service providers and state agencies will pay VND12,000 and VND7,100 respectively.
Organizations that buy water to redistribute to others in the same area such as an apartment building, dormitory or industrial area will receive a 10 percent discount on the prices.
Vo Van Luan, Chief of Office of the city People’s Committee, said current water prices were in place since July 2004 and have become inappropriate.
The prices are being raised to help water supplier Saigon Water Corp. (Sawaco) meet higher costs and invest more in improving the pipeline system, replacing old ones, Luan said.
Tran Dinh Phu, general director of Sawaco, was quoted by the Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon Online on December 26 as saying the group needs a further US$4 billion to provide clean water to residents until 2025, especially to the outlying districts of 7, 8, Tan Phu and Nha Be, and ensure less water leaks on the way.
Phu said members of the group are providing around 1.3 million cubic meters of water a day while the city Department of Agriculture and Rural Development handles 0.2 million cubic meters every day.
He forecast the daily need will go up to around 2.4 million in 2015 and 3.6 million in 2025 “while many parts of the city pipeline system have been getting old, rotten and are due for fixing or removing.”
His deputy Ly Chung Dan told Tuoi Tre on December 26 the company has to build five or six more water plants by 2015.
Dan also said they will try to reduce water leaks from the current 40 percent to 32 percent in 2015 and 25 percent in 2025. They will also try to improve the water quality as some places are getting opaque water sometimes, he added.
Sawaco manages 3,800 kilometers of pipelines, including more than 700 km that have to be removed as they have been used for more than 30 years now, he said.
Water leaking from underground pipes broke under Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street early December 2009 and caused two gaping holes on the road that connects the city’s Cat Lai Port with its downtown area.
In related news, the capital city of Hanoi has also announced higher water prices starting January 1, 2010, citing the need to meet higher costs and increasing demand.