The Water Authority and OfReg have announced a rate increase of 1.46% that will go into effect as of 1 July. That small increase is meant to account for inflation and will represent a marginal addition of approximately $1.50 per month for the average Water Authority consumer.
OfReg approved the rate adjustment and related that it is less than two-thirds of an increase that the Water Authority applied for in 2018. OfReg’s primary responsibility is to regulate the quality of utilities provided locally, but also to ensure that rate adjustments are fair to both the company and consumer.
“The Cayman Islands, as a small island nation, cannot provide the economies of scale that would be required for a more competitive environment in the utilities sector,” said Gregg Anderson, the executive director of energy and utilities at OfReg, as part of an official press release.
“Therefore, our job is to regulate the quality of the services provided to consumers, as well as to maintain oversight of the rates that utilities can charge, within the confines of the law. The transparent and thorough process produced a result that balances the needs of customers and the company.”
Under the adjusted rate structure, the fee for the first 12 cubic metres consumed each month – which is equivalent to approximately 3,200 US gallons – will increase by 7¢ per m3, from CI$4.49 to CI$4.56, and 8¢, from CI$5.71 to CI$5.79, on each m3 thereafter. In Cayman Brac, residential piped water customers will see an increase of 9¢ – from CI$6.12 to CI$6.21 – on each m3, and trucked water customers will see an increase of 11¢ – from CI$7.66 to CI$7.77 – on each m3.
Sewerage rates have increased from CI$1.648 to CI$1.672. The rate for septage disposal charged to septage truckers has increased from CI$16.773 per 1,000 US gallons to CI$17.018.
Dr. Gelia Frederick-van Genderen, director of the Water Authority, said in a prepared statement that the rate adjustment is necessary for continued investment in the water and wastewater infrastructure.
“The country is growing and developing at a rapid pace, and the Authority needs to ensure we not only keep up, but also plan and build with the future in mind. The rate adjustment is necessary to invest in our infrastructure to ensure proper and adequate operations in the years to come,” said Dr. Frederick-van Genderen. “Keeping tap water affordable is part of the Authority’s mission, and even with this increase, the water we provide is still less than 3¢ per gallon.”