13 November 2012

Tanzania: Water-User Tariffs to Triple in Rufiji

WATER user tariffs for investors in Rufiji are set to triple next year, the Rufiji Water Basin Office (RBWO) has said.

According to RBWO Community Development Officer David Muginya, the current water-user tariffs are low compared with the activities of the water basin office on water management among different investors in the area having water permits.

There are 30 districts, which is 20 per cent of the country. In an interview with 'Daily News', he said the Water-users board is currently reviewing water-user rates. He said they sometimes face financial challenges in running the basin's activities, a situation attributed to low water-use fees.

"That is why we are reviewing the wateruser rates," he said. He said the Water Ministry gave the directive to the water user board to see to it that the rates change. "Every water board is given the mandate to set their own water tariffs," he said. He said the Water Ministry has already financed a study on tariffs and that would be the basis for the increment that starts in 2013.

"We have already done it in Rufiji and other basins have done it. So the reviewed rates start next year," he said, adding that there is water inefficiency among agricultural investors, a situation he said would be turned around by better investment in water infrastructure across the farms.

"Agricultural investors are required by law to make sure they have proper wateruser infrastructure. We urge the same especially in the Great Ruaha which is highly water stressed," he said. The Rufiji Water users Office monitors water uses including the operations of the Mtera and Kidatu dams and the Water Resources (availability and quality).

It also issue water rights and consents to discharge waste water. Since its establishment the office has been engaged among other activities, in the monitoring of water abstractions and uses mainly in the Great Ruaha Sub- Catchment and collection of data from water resources monitoring stations in the whole Rufiji River Basin. Collection of operational data from Mtera and Kidatu dams has been done by this office.

The data includes dam water levels, turbine discharges and spills if any. A number of Water Rights have been issued during this period. The Rufiji Basin comprises of four major rivers--the Great Ruaha River, the Kilombero River, the Luwegu River and the Rufiji (lower part of Main River).

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