ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia has planned to facilitate environmental protection financed from a water tariff that will be operational soon, Basins Development Authority announced.
The authority has submitted a water tariff regulation to the Council of Ministers for approval, and will apply it upon endorsement.
Authority Deputy Director General, Getachew Gizaw told The Ethiopian Herald that it is essential to develop river basins by the finance secured from the tariff. Therefore, the finance will be pumped into environmental protection projects focusing on basins.
The water tariff is crucial in efficiently utilizing water and preserving soil fertility via reducing acidity, he noted.
On the other hand, the tariff system will enable the nation to install a system that helps ensure sustainable basin development with sustainable financial and human resource, he stated.
According to him, the tariff also helps develop sense of belongingness among users to wholeheartedly contribute their share to environmental protection endeavors.
This is an international procedure in which even neighboring countries of Ethiopia including Kenya and Sudan are applying for water abstraction services, Getachew said, adding that the tariff is going to be collected from users who pump out water from the source to various purposes.
"Water tariff is not new to Ethiopia since the country has been applying it on Awash River on the basis of costing three birr per 1000 m3."
The regulation submitted to the council of ministers identified users who engaged in irrigation, power generation, fishery, recreation, transport, industry and bottling and those who employ water for municipality service as tariff payers, as to Getachew.
However, people who engaged in water trucking, traditional irrigation or those who irrigate less than one hectare and watermill owners are tax exempted, he indicated.
He pointed out that the average cost to the tariff is less than two percent from the net profit of each company or user.
And the users have shown willingness to pay for it considering the water development and protection efforts will increase their profit in response, he expressed.
The regulation was articulated after need assessment is researched willingness and affordability of identified payers, he remarked.
The Deputy Director General further stated that experience has been drawn from various countries such as South Africa and Kenya in the preparation of the draft regulation.
"The water resources that cover two and more states are administered by the federal government and the rest by each state. The same is true for the water tariff collection and operation," he added.