Water company contemplates higher rates for “luxury” water use

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Consumers may have to pay more for water that is not used for household purposes or drinking to discourage excessive use, water company Vitens has told the Telegraaf.

Vitens, which has six million customers, said it is looking into ways of making “luxury use”, such as watering gardens and filling up swimming pools more expensive.

“We are looking into introducing a basic rate for water that is used for cooking, drinking, showering and flushing the toilet. Everything else will cost more,”  Vitens spokesman Rik Dogger told the paper. Vitens hopes that higher prices will discourage excessive water use.

The infrastructure ministry is still looking into how different rates could be applied. But Vitens said the measure would raise awareness among clients of the amount of water they use.

In the last five years, consumption has grown 10%, Dogger said. The dry summers also boost water use. “But it doesn’t matter if the grass goes yellow. It will come back,” he said.

Vitens and other water companies are increasingly struggling to comply with the needs of a growing population. Last year, Vitens had to refuse to connect 23 businesses because of a lack of supply.

The search for alternative water sources, which companies have been calling for, is being hindered by the slowness of the infrastructure ministry to issue licences. It said in a reaction it is working on a plan to solve the licencing problems before this summer.

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