Water Agency Says Fee Cuts to Cost It $200,000 a Year

The Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) will lose more than $200,000 a year due to a new policy designed to lower water rates for workers and students living in rented rooms, the authority’s director said on Thursday at a meeting with hundreds of landlords at Wat Chumpou Voan in Pur Senchey district.

In an effort to prevent landlords from profiting off the resale of water, publicly listed PPWSA will charge landlords 1,030 riel [$0.26] per cubic meter and prevent them from charging their tenants more than 1,200 riel [$0.30] per cubic meter.

Sim Sitha, the authority’s director-general, told the meeting the PPWSA would be taking a financial loss to accommodate landlords and tenants.

“Our company will…lose more than $200,000 in a year,” he said, adding that 43 landlords have agreed to the new price.

But several landlords said after the meeting that they would also lose money on the plan.

“If [I charge] 3,000 riel per cubic meter [and] it’s still hard for me to pay, how can they put the price at 1,200 riel?” landlord Oeung Teav said.

Mr. Sitha blamed landlord-owned leaking pipes, rather than the PPWSA-operated meters, for high water rates.

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