Water loss in HCM City is down from four years ago but still costs VND2.8 billion, or $134,400, a day under the current clean household water price.
Fees vary by location, but if officials calculated efficiency using the highest cost of VND11,000 per cubic metre, the loss would more than double to VND6.4 billion, or $307,000, experts say.
Of the city’s daily 1.53 million cubic meters of water, 38 percent goes to waste, according to a report by the Saigon Water Corporation, or Sawaco.
In 2008, the percentage was 43, before Sawaco embarked on a campaign to bring down that number.
“If Sawaco can better cut the water loss rate, it will not need to earmark trillions of dong to set up a new water plant, while it can save a huge amount of money from the reduced water loss,” one expert said, adding Sawaco could pass that savings onto customers.
Under a development plan to finish in 2015, Sawaco is adding a water plant, Tan Hiep 2, that can supply roughly 300,000 cubic meters of water a day.
That’s half the amount of water that is wasted.
The Ministry of Finance last week released a new price table for water that increases the highest fee by 50 percent.
Starting July 11, water costs will be capped at VND18,000 per cubic metre in major cities.
The increase was calculated to help suppliers recoup water losses in Hanoi and HCM City, insiders say.
In the latter city, prices have increased steadily since 2010, according to Directive 103, issued by the city’s People’s Committee in 2009. The rate of increase, 10 percent, will continue next year.