CoW backtracks on water bills

10 March 2019 | Government

After many residents queried their high water bills, the City of Windhoek has undertaken to rectify the backdated charges of single household consumers.

“A water scarcity was declared on 1 August last year. The declaration of water scarcity means that residents should reduce their water consumption and set a target to save at least 10% on water consumption,” said Harold Akwenye of the CoW.

At a media briefing on Thursday, Akwenye said that higher water supply tariffs as gazetted in June 2018 for times of limited water supply, would be charged. The oversight that high single household consumers were undercharged for consumption, was only detected in December. “So, instead of charging these consumers the rate applicable at times of limited water supply, they were charged normal tariffs,” he said.

“The decision to implement the correct charges for these consumers from 1 January 2019 going forward was implemented, but instead the charges were backdated from 1 July last year. As a result the impact was severe for clients whose readings were estimated for a longer period, resulting in high water bills affecting these consumers,” he said.


The CoW decided to rectify backdated charges of high single household consumers and only implement the tariffs as gazetted for times of limited supply as from the 1 January. “Affected clients will see the credit on their next statement of 25 March,” Akwenye said.

He said that the alternative for not implementing charges to deter excess consumption, is the rationing of water which will be more inconvenient to all residents even those who consume responsibly.

“Rationing means shutting down water use for a certain period of time during the day for the entire city,” Akwenye said.

“It is worth mentioning that since the declaration of water scarcity in Windhoek in July 2018, the 10% water saving target has not been realised, as we currently consuming 15% on average – and even more.”

In this vein, Windhoekers are urged to seriously save water by keeping their consumption below 730 litres of water per day or less than 22 000 litres of water per month.

“If consumers exceed this threshold, they will be charged N$61 per kilolitre and when exceeding the 30 000 litre per month mark, they will be charged a rate of N$141 per 1000 litres consumed.”