It has been proposed that residents of apartment blocks that do not have central sewage systems should be forced to pay for sewage based on their water meter readings. These are new amendments to the law on water supply and sewage submitted for review to the State Duma.
Russia uses less than 10% of its resources conservation potential
“On the one hand, it looks like there is logic to it. Apartment blocks do not use water for irrigation and their residents do not keep cattle or poultry that need water on a regular basis. So all of the water that people get from the water supply system eventually ends up in the septic tank and then it is removed by a centralized service. In this sense, the idea to calculate the cost of sewage removal on the basis of water meter readings sounds quite reasonable,” the Analytical Center expert Dmitry Khomchenko commented on this proposal in an interview for Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
On the other hand, the incentive for people to save water, which is the main motivation for the proposed amendments to the sewage fee calculation, is already included in the water supply rate, the expert noted. “If I do not have a water meter I am already paying more than someone who has a meter. And here we have a proposal to stimulate people to save water twice and that concerns only people living in housing with no central sewage system, i.e. in less than comfortable conditions, in other words this proposal goes against social justice and that can hardly be regarded as the right thing to do,” Mr. Khomchenko believes.
Even though the issue of resource conservation remains very relevant in Russia, the expert concludes. And it’s not just relevant for ordinary people, either. When it comes to resources conservation, problems abound in the utilities sector, in industry, and in the state funded sector. “We conducted studies in the regions to find out what happens with efforts to reduce consumption of resources such as water, heat, electricity and natural gas. And our findings were rather frustrating, to put it mildly,” Mr. Khomchenko said, “even though Russia has huge resources conservation potential, it’s currently using at best 10% of it. And this is true across the country. We have not found any territories that are doing any better than others, however, there are plenty of regions where nothing at all is being done in this area.”