Water me­ters, an im­por­tant water man­age­ment tool

The use of water me­ters or other ac­cept­able mea­sur­ing de­vices has al­ways been key as­pect in water re­sources man­age­ment.

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Zinwa / Lancet / Stocks -

WHILE many peo­ple, es­pe­cially those us­ing raw water for ir­ri­gation and other pur­poses are very scep­ti­cal about the in­stal­la­tion of me­ters in their oper­a­tions, the use of water me­ters is a stan­dard prac­tice world­wide which works to the ad­van­tage of both water util­i­ties such as Zinwa and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and water con­sumers. It is there­fore im­por­tant that we un­pack the ben­e­fits of me­ters for peo­ple to see.

To be­gin with the Water Act makes it manda­tory for water users in­stall, at their own cost, me­ters or any other mea­sur­ing de­vice ac­cept­able to Zinwa once they en­ter into a water ab­strac­tion agree­ment or ob­tain a water per­mit from the sub-catch­ment coun­cil.

Water me­ters help clients take con­trol of their water bills. Clients can use me­ters to de­ter­mine whether their con­sump­tion is within the range of what they can af­ford to pay or not. If they find their con­sump­tion to be on the high side, con­sumers can ad­just ac­cord­ingly.

In ad­di­tion water me­ters en­sure that con­sumers get billed for ex­actly what they would have con­sumed as op­posed to be­ing billed used es­ti­mates, which are nor­mally used for un­metered con­sumers. Clients with water me­ters can also eas­ily de­tect water losses within their sys­tems.

In stan­dard cases, clients are billed for water that would have passed through the me­ter and when leaks oc­cur af­ter the me­ter, they will lead to the re­sul­tant monthly bill shoot­ing up. When the client is me­tered, he or she can eas­ily de­tect any un­usual move­ment in his or her me­ter read­ings and can im­me­di­ately rec­tify the sit­u­a­tion. What there­fore is im­por­tant is for clients to learn how to read their me­ters. This will also help them when they dis­pute bills be­cause they will have their me­ter read­ings with them.

On the part of water util­i­ties such as Zinwa me­ters as­sist in de­ter­min­ing water losses along the retic­u­la­tion sys­tem. Af­ter do­ing the monthly bills, Zinwa can rec­on­cile what would have been sold and what would have been pro­duced.

The dif­fer­ence will al­low them to de­ter­mine where the water losses are and take cor­rec­tive ac­tion to avert the losses and en­sure that the scarce re­source is pre­served. Me­ters are also a crit­i­cal tar­iff tool that helps in the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of con­sumers us­ing un­nec­es­sar­ily high vol­umes of water.

The cur­rent water tar­iff struc­ture is de­signed in a man­ner that en­sures a bal­ance be­tween water use and af­ford­abil­ity. As such, the tar­iff re­mains un­changed for the first 10 cu­bic me­ters or 50 drums of water which are set as enough to sus­tain a nor­mal fam­ily over a pe­riod of one month.

When that thresh­old is ex­ceeded, the tar­iff starts go­ing as a way of en­cour­ag­ing ef­fi­cient use of the fi­nite re­source. In the case of raw water users who draw water from Zinwa man­aged dams around the coun­try, es­pe­cially ir­ri­ga­tors, water me­ters are quite crit­i­cal for Zinwa mon­i­tor if agree­ment hold­ers are stick­ing to their al­lo­ca­tions and if any il­le­gal ab­strac­tions are tak­ing place.

Water me­ters there­fore al­low Zinwa to root out il­le­gal water ab­strac­tions along the rivers and other water con­veyance chan­nels.

It is there­fore im­per­a­tive that water users get prop­erly func­tional me­ters so that they can take charge of their water con­sump­tion bills.

For more in­for­ma­tion you can con­tact the Zinwa Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Mar­ket­ing De­part­ment on call­cen­[email protected] zinwa.co.zw. You can also like the Zim­babwe Na­tional Water Au­thor­ity Facebook Page. Al­ter­na­tively you can fol­low us on Twit­ter @zin­wawa­ter

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