Minimal impact on water wastage despite water conservation surcharge

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government said the imposition of the water conservation surcharge (WCS) has minimal impact on discouraging water wastage.

"Not very much, our tariffs are too low despite the WCS," Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (pix) said when asked if the WCS had reduced water consumption in the state at a press conference today.

He said the issue of high water usage in Penang was due to the low water tariffs, the lowest in the country at 32 sen per 1,000 litres for the first 35,000 litres compared to the national average of 66sen.

"Domestic water consumption in Penang is the highest in Malaysia at an average of 300 litres per person compared to the national average of 210 litres per person.

"People should save water, this is a precious resource," he added.

The WCS was introduced in 2010 by the Lim administration and is only triggered by those using more than 35,000 litres per month.

Lim also sidestepped the question when asked if his government was considering increasing the tariff. He said the focus was on educating users not to waste water now.

"We urge those in Penang to save water," he added.

Lim earlier launched B Braun's Genetics Week at the Penang Science Cluster in Weld Quay here where 248 pupils from primary and secondary schools will be taking part in workshops on genetics.