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20.01.2011 General News

PURC Directs AVRL to Publicise Water Rationing Programme

By GNA
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January 20, 2011 Accra, Jan 20, GNA - The Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC) has asked the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and Aqua Vitens Rand (AVRL) to provide the public adequate notice of its water rationing programme.

They must also ensure that the rationing programme, especially in the dry season is reliable and effective to mitigate consumers' hardship.

The Commission said it was particularly worried about the abrupt rationing of water without any warning or communication to the public.

"We acknowledged that due to the state of Ghana Water Company the issue of water rationing cannot be eliminated completely, but they must do well to ensure that when it happens, the public would not be affected adversely.

"Communicating effectively with the public is very important," Mr Stephen Adu, Executive Secretary of PURC said during a tour of the Weija Water Treatment Plant and the Accra Booster Station.

The visits by PURC officials is part of the Commission's monitoring functions and was meant to expose them to get fist hand information about the challenges being faced by the GWCL as it made efforts to meet customers' demands.

The Commission said the visits was also a follow-up on issues associated with the rationing programme in areas such as Ashaley Botwe, Adenta, Madina and its environs.

Mr Nii Okai Kotei, Director for Water at PURC, said the GWCL and AVRL must ensure that the rationing programme meant to provide water this dry season was adhered to in order to mitigate the effects of water shortages on consumers.

He said consumers expectations were raised with the expansion of Weija Plant and the subsequent transfer of about eight million gallons of water per day via dedicated pipeline to the Accra Terminal Reservoir.

"An effective and reliable rationing programme must therefore be put in place and this must be made public. The Commission would monitor this and insist on the agreed improvement," he said.

Mr Kotei tasked management of the two entities to accelerate the installation of bulk meters in order to improve efficiency, saying the current level of non- revenue water was unacceptable.

"The current level of non-revenue water of just over 50 per cent is not acceptable. This is to be brought down to the benchmark of below 45 per cent," Mr Kotei noted.

Mr Hadisu Alhassan, Water Quality Manager at the Weija Water Treatment Plant, said the heavy pollution of water upstream was contributing to the high cost of treatment.

He blamed the pollution on human activities and growing level of settlement along the banks of the river.

The Weija plant was recently expanded, adding additional five million gallons of water a day for distribution to Accra East through the Accra Booster Station, which serves settlements in eastern parts of Accra, including Adenta, Madina, Pantang, University of Ghana, GIMPA and surrounding areas

The Accra Booster makes it possible to link water supply from the Weija Dam (five million gallons a day) and Kpong (10 million gallons a day) for onward distribution to the eastern parts of Accra which do not have constant water supply.

GNA

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