The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has announced an 8.01% increase in water tariff, effective July 1.

This, the regulator said had become necessary because “the inflation rate has gone up.”

Another factor which necessitated the increase is the local currency’s depreciation against the dollar and other major currencies, Chairman of PURC’s Technical Committee, Ishmael Agyekumhene explained.

In the last tariff review in September 2018, the exchange rate used was GH¢4.43 to a dollar. In that review, the tariff was reduced by 10.08%.

“However, the exchange rate used to determine the current review is GH¢5.05,” Mr Agyekumhene noted.

He added that taking the two factors into consideration, they “simply couldn’t have kept the tariffs at where they are unless we can hold everything constant,” he said.

Ghana Water disappointed

Meanwhile, the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has expressed disappointment in the rate of the increment. 

 Communications Director of the GWCL, Stanley Martey told Joy News they were expecting a higher rate as requested but they must work with what the regulator has given them. 

He said with the electricity tariffs going up, 44% of their expenditure would be spent on power so “it is a difficult for them.”

Resistance 

With the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) kicking against 11.17% increase in electricity tariff announced last Friday, the latest announcement is expected to be resisted too.

The NDC said the increased tariff will only deepen economic hardship.

This is the first increase in tariffs since March 2018 when the PURC announced a 10-30 percent reduction in prices of electricity. Residential consumers got a 17.5% reduction while non-residential got 30% slashed off.

The NDC called the move populist.

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