04 October 2011

Global survey of water tariffs

We've had a few posts on water tariffs here in the past week, and here's another one :)

Global Water Intelligence recently published their annual survey of water and wastewater tariffs from around the world (registration gives you access to three free articles).

I contributed a commentary that included this:
The countries with the most cities in the survey (USA with 27, China with 25 and India with 17) show significant domestic variation. The minimum, median and maximum prices per cubic metre of water are $0.53, $1.13 and $3.14 in the US, $0.17, $0.35 and $0.59 in China, and $0.05, $0.11 and $0.28 in India, respectively. There may be many reasons why prices vary within one country, but the lesson is clear: no country has “average” water prices.

We have water tariff data for 308 cities and wastewater tariffs for 248 cities. The most common rate structure in the survey is increasing block rates (151 cities), followed by linear rates (141 cities), decreasing block rates (9 cities) and fixed charges (7 cities). The correlation within water-wastewater price pairs is 67% (a 100% correlation would mean that water and wastewater prices moved in the same direction and at the same rate).
I recommend that you read the whole thing -- especially to look at numbers such as these:

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