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November 19, 2010

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Domestic water prices to increase

WATER prices in Shanghai will rise by about 22 percent tomorrow, which may bring an extra water cost of about 10 yuan (US$1.50) per month to a typical household.

The new price will be fixed at 2.8 yuan per cubic meter, including a 1.63 yuan supply fee and another 1.3 yuan sewage treatment cost.

The average water consumption of a local family of three is about 20 cubic meters per month, so such a water bill will rise to 56 yuan from the current 46 yuan.

The city government said the extra revenue from increased water bills will be used to improve tap water quality and sewage treatment. Not a single yuan will be used for the profit of local water companies, it stressed.

"The price hike will definitely contribute to better quality tap water for Shanghai residents with water companies being able to upgrade their facilities and services," said an official at the Shanghai Water Authority, who declined to be named.

Shen Weizhong, deputy director of water supply at the Shanghai Water Authority, said the price rise had nothing to do with the newly built Qingcaosha Reservoir in the Yangtze River, which will supply cleaner water to about 70 percent of Shanghai's population.

The 17 billion yuan reservoir will replace the Huangpu River as the main source of water for the city from next year.

The unnamed official said the price rise could hardly cover the cost of the construction of the reservoir.

Many Shanghai residents complained about the price rise and one local website has offered tips on how to save water at home, including putting a bottle of water inside the cistern of a toilet so that less water would be used for each flush.

"Higher water prices make me want to go and dig a well," one °?netizen complained online.

However, others said they were more than willing to pay more for services if it led to them getting better quality water.

The city's water prices climbed to 2.30 yuan from 1.84 yuan last June and tomorrow's rise is the second step of a water price adjustment plan which was approved by the Shanghai Development and Reform Commission, the city's top planning body.

The commission held a public hearing in April 2009 on the water price plan and decided to lift the price in two stages. This decision was made after many residents claimed that the increase was too high to be taken in one go.

The commission said the rise in price was necessary because local water companies suffered a deficit of about 460 million yuan last year and this year their costs would increase by 552 million yuan.


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