Water Meters Don't Make Financial Sense, Says World Bank

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The World Bank has warned that prepaid meters should not be viewed as a cost-effective way to resolve high billing and collection inefficiencies excerpt for large volume customers.

In its report titled “The Limits and Possibilities of Prepaid Water in Urban Africa”, the WB said the core message that prepaid metering on its own cannot resolve a service provider’s financial woes.

“It may even make things worse, at least in the short to medium term,” the WB report warns.

“It makes little sense to spend vast amounts of money on a technology that can affect improvement in revenue on the margins, while the underlying pricing of water remains unattended.

“Although prepayment is an interesting innovation with potential for application under some conditions, it is unlikely to provide a long-term answer to sub-economic pricing of water”.