The Zambian government announced plans to introduce raw water tariffs. It will come into effect next year.
Water development permanent secretary Edward Chomba said the pricing of raw water will ensure effective management of the resource.
“The water use charges are consistent with water resource management principles enshrined in the 2010 National Water Policy and 2011 Water Resource Management Act,” Chomba said.
According to a draft strategy developed by government, tariffs will be charged based on the volume consumed. It is presumably a charge that will recover the cost of treatment and other associated overheads, which are agreed on in advance.
Chomba said tariffs will apply to domestic and commercial users.
He said costs will be determined after consultation with stakeholders. These include small and large scale farmers.
“Let me hasten to say that the tariffs are not intended to impose a burden on the Zambian people, but was meant to ensure equitable access for all users,” Chomba said.
Paul Kapotwe, Water Resource Management Authority director-general, said his organisation was also already talking to stakeholders.
“We are engaging farmers at all levels to assist in refining the draft pricing strategy,” he said.