The local administration of Kirkuk intends to implement a project to install smart water meters for all Kirkuk neighborhoods, including slums, assuring residents it is for their benefit.
Implementation of the project has started in several parts of Kirkuk, and the administration of Kirkuk affirms that it aims at reducing costs and ensure that water is not wasted.
Hisham Zangana, Information Officer of Kirkuk Water Distribution Department, said the project is being carried out under the supervision of the Iraqi Ministry of Construction and Housing, and the project has entered into force in three Iraqi provinces, one of which is Kirkuk.
“The mechanism of smart water meters has been clarified to people and fortunately they agreed... Previously, water bills were determined according to the area of the house, but from now on the bill will depend on the consumed plenty,” Zangana explained.
According to the meter, each cubic meter of water will cost 100 Iraqi dinars ($0.07).
The mechanism of smart water meters has been clarified to people and fortunately they agreed
Kirkuk Water Department chose a house in Domiz neighborhood as a sample for the project, and it became clear that the water bill after installing the smart meter amounted to 17,000 IQD within a month.
"The owner of the 400 square meters house indicated that the bill was higher in the months prior to the installation of the smart meter," Zangana said.
After Domiz and Wahid Huzairan, Kirkuk Water Department is currently working with 10 teams on a daily basis to install smart water meters in the neighborhoods of Imam Qassem, Al Iskan and Azadi, and the project is scheduled to include all Kirkuk neighborhoods, including the slums, according to Zangana.
The project will be implemented throughout Iraq.
"If the subscriber does not pay the bills, the bills will accumulate as debts." He added, "The goal of the project is to address the weaknesses of the previous mechanisms that did not provide adequate information about the amount of water consumed by each province, and also aims to rationalize water consumption and reduce costs for subscribers."
Saadiya Reda, who lives in the Imam Qassim neighborhood and has a new meter installed for her house, told KirkukNow, "We don't know yet whether we will benefit from this meter or not. We hope that it will be useful and that the province will not use it in a way that harms people."
at least this meter will ensure fairness in the bills
"But at least this meter will ensure fairness in the bills and it will depend on the amount of water consumed by each house," she added.
Latif Jawamir (65 years), a resident of Al-Iskan neighborhood, said, "We hope that this project will address the water scarcity crisis during the summer and that citizens will avoid wasting water."
Kirkuk Water Department was planning to implement the smart water meter project in 2014, but the war against Islamic State ISIL in June of the same year led to the postponement of the project.
The project comes at a time when follow-ups (KirkukNow) showed that a large part of the Kirkuk residents are reluctant to pay water bills, especially the residents of slums.