Government has managed to plug an approximately $10 million per month leak at the Barbados Water Authority (BWA).
This is according to Government’s Chief Economic Counsellor under the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme Dr Clyde Mascoll.
He said the efforts to mop up the multi-million-dollar loss at the state-run entity, was not due to the changes in rates and new taxes, but by renegotiating contracts.
Describing the savings as “amazing”, Mascoll, said Government was also able to clean up financial losses at the Sanitation Services Authority (SSA).
He was addressing the annual panel discussion of the CFA Society of Barbados at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination on Wednesday night on the topic Where Global Intersects Local.
“It is not just fiscal issues, there were issues on the inside that we had to address,” he said of both entities.
Mascoll did not disclose the savings at the SSA, but said, “The water authority was, not too long ago, incurring a deficit of $10 million per month. The water authority now, is in the black. Now, that is simply amazing, and it is not the increase. It is that the Government was able to go into the water authority and take existing contracts and renegotiate them and save this country substantial amounts of money,” said Mascoll.
He did not give details regarding the renegotiation of contracts, but last December it was made public that Government was renegotiating its contract with Innotech Aquaserve Limited for the leasing arrangement involving the $40 million BWA headquarters.
BWA Chairperson Leodean Worrell had reported that Government was in a contract, which would see it paying more than $170 million over a 15-year period before the BWA could own the Pine, St Michael building.
Besides savings from renegotiated contracts, Government is expected to rake in substantial earnings through tariffs.
Government is also expected to earn some $65 million from the Garbage and Sewage Contribution (GSC) levy introduced last July, which sees households paying $1.50 per day of which $1.25 goes to the Sanitation Service Authority.
Commercial entities are paying GSC equivalent to 50 per cent of their monthly bill, while pensioners living alone pay 75 cents per day.
Also, effective May 1 this year, the commercial rate for water moved from a fixed $4.66 per cubic metre for all water levels, to $4.66 for up to 40 cubic metres and then $7.78 per cubic metre for usage over 40 cubic metres but with a cap of 12,000 cubic metres, after which the rate reverts to $4.66 per cubic metre.
Government is expecting revenues of $2.1 million per month for the BWA from this measure.