Officials within the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) have indicated that the Utilities Provider has been considering increasing the rate which consumers within the country pay for water.
The Public Utilities Minister Robin Year wood indicated that the rate is likely to increase later this year.
This comes on the heels of the body’s announcement that it will be switching water production to 100% Desalination which is more costly to the cash strapped Utilities provider.
Roger Tonge, APUA’s Financial Controller indicated that water rates in the country have not moved since 1979 with consumers paying $22 per 1,000 gallon while production costs have increased significantly in recent years.
He noted that due to the inability of the Water Unit to operate on a sustainable footing, the Electricity Business Unit has to subsidize the operations of the department which cannot afford to purchase its own meters.
Tonge indicated that due to the low rates paid by consumers for water, the business unit has been operating in a state of perpetual loss which has significantly hampered the ability of the water unit to run its operations.
The Finance Expert disclosed that the APUA Water Business Unit is recording consistent losses, with 2014 figures totaling 10.4 million which is expected to rise to 13.4 million after the close of the 2015 audit.
The Financial Controller disclosed that APUA is currently undergoing a tariff review with consultants from the World Bank in order to justify the rate increase which will come into effect later this year.