Maybe it’s not all politics when contrasting the 30% hike with what VivianB said in 2015 about water being priced correctly: there was no need to change the price because PUB has improvements in membrane tech and productivity and that the water tariff and WCT reflected the scarcity of water.
I just remembered that for several years our water bill halved and then dropped to almost zero. We didn’t notice at first because we pay via giro. What we did notice was that the metre man coming more regularly. So we started looking at the bills. And found that we were really conserving water although we couldn’t think where we reduced our usage.
One day in 2015 (I think), the metre man took a photo of our metre and told my mum that technically that we had consumed no water since his last visit several months previously. He asked if we had moved out and then returned. We hadn’t.
Shortly thereafter we got a new metre. And our bills doubled or tripled.
Now if it happened to one metre, it could have happened to tens of thousands. My mum tells me she didn’t think PUB ever replaced the metre since we moved in in the early 60s.
Look at this chart that shows water usage showed a rise in per capita terms in 2015 after declining for many a year.
Now what if part of the decline prior to 2014 had been caused not by falling consumption per capita but by metres failing to record the “right” amounts of water consumed, and the jump in consumption post 2014 was due to new metres working properly?
Remember that problems the public transport system is facing because the SMRT tracks were not properly maintained? Could bad metre replacement maintenance have caused the PUB to get our water consumption figures wrong?