Urban water pricing: the Metro Manila and Metro Cebu cases

Urban water pricing: the Metro Manila and Metro Cebu cases

Water resource management in many major urban centers has failed to provide an economically efficient, socially equitable, and environmentally sustainable de- velopment, distribution and use of water resources.

In the greater Metro Manila area with more than 11 million people, the Metropolitan Water and Sewerage System's (MWSS) piped water connections reach only about 60 percent of its household coverage while its sew- erage system serves a much lower proportion (9%). MWSS' service is generally characterized by low water pressure and intermittent supply, averaging 16 hours per day.

The Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD), meanwhile, which provides piped water connection to the second most populous urban area in the Philippines, serves less than 40 percent of households in its service area at an aver- age of 18 hours per day. Its rate of nonrevenue water is also relatively high (38%) and although part of its man- date, the problem of sewerage disposal has remained largely unattended to.

This brief offers an optimal pricing scheme, together with suggestions on the improvement of the overall water resource management that could provide the proper environment by which such pricing scheme can succeed.