GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government plans to increase the water conservation surcharge (WSR) in a bid to decrease domestic water usage. Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the WSR would be increased to RM1 from the current rate of 48 sen. He said the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) will be making the application to National Water Services Commission (SPAN) to increase the WSR. Lim said this was the "last chance" to decrease domestic water consumption, the highest in Malaysia with some 290l used per person per day, before mulling to increase the water tariff. "The NGOs have been urging for an increase in water tariffs but we asked for time to educate the public," he said in a press conference today. PBAPP CEO Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa said the WSR was triggered after 35,000l were used. He said WCS was imposed on 25% of 504,400 domestic accounts so far. He said PBAPP targeted to reduce water usage by 10%, pointing out that 827 million litres were used per day last year. "In other words, domestic consumers used more water than all the industries, hotels and commercial enterprises that operate in Penang," he said. Both Lim and Jaseni earlier launched the Penang level World Water Day celebrations here.