By Tosin Kolade
The Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission (NIWRMC), has inaugurated a 10-Man Technical Committee to develop a policy on Water Use Metering, to ensure standards and cost recovery in the country’s public water facilities.
NIWRMC’s Executive Director, Mr Magashi Bashir, while inaugurating the committee in Abuja on Thursday, said only few facilities in the country currently had metering devices installed.
This, according to him, is because the internal components of these devices usually wear off, thereby reducing the level of accuracy and efficiency.
He said progressive drop in metering accuracy, in most cases often resulted in revenue loss, due to under-accounting of the volume of used water.
Bashir therefore, stressed the need for occasional maintenance and recalibration of installed meters, saying that would reduce water loss and improve efficiency in the system.
“The policy’s objective is to contribute towards the development of an effective water metering equipment and other ancillary equipment for use by the commission and other agencies where public water supply is viable”.
He expressed optimism that states and their agencies, local governments and the private entities, would use the policy document as a tool to ensure standard water metering equipment for proper regulations.
The executive director urged the committee members to contribute meaningfully, by crafting an appropriate policy document, with a view to engendering proper regulations in the Nigeria’s water sector.
The Director, Water Allocation and Authorisation with the commission, Mr Uba Ajingi, said water metering, including its associated equipment, was a method that helped users to account for the quantity of water consumed.
“Water metering is a public water resources management component, aimed at monitoring water usage, in order to reduce rate of consumption and waste”.
Ajingi noted that improper management of water meters and data information, had resulted in increased water loss, with a reduction in the country’s revenue.
He said the policy when developed, was expected to provide procedures for a standard water metering, enhance management, operations and maintenance, develop standards and specifications for importation or manufacturers.
“It will allow mandatory scheduled and regular maintenance, as well as recalibration of installed water metering and ancillary equipment in the country, to ensure accurate readings and effective functioning”.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that NIWRMC had in 2021 submitted a memorandum to the National Council on Water Resources, seeking approval to develop a policy framework on water use metering equipment for surface and groundwater.
The action was in line with its mandate of regulating, protecting, conserving and controlling water sources for equitable socio economic development.
Interestingly, the project was approved by the National Council on Water Resources at its 28th Meeting in Abuja, in December 2021.
Meanwhile, the committee has the Terms of Reference to; review the Water Resources Act 2004, National Water Resources Policy 2016 and the Water Use Licence and Regulations 2020 (as amended).
Some members of the Technical Committee include; Mr Peter Ewesor, Mr Yahaya Kazaure, Dr Muslim Idris, Prof. Salisu Dan-Azumi, Mr Gboyega Oyekanmi and others.