Study of Municipal Drinking Water Tariffs and its Effect on Water Consumption Pattern, Case Study: City of Neyshabour

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Graduate Student of Economics, Ferdowsi University, Mashhad

2 Assistant Professor of Economics, Ferdowsi University, Mashhad

3 Assistant Professor of Water Engineering, Ferdowsi University, Mashhad


Increasing water demand with the peculiar climatic conditions in Iran has caused water scarcity and the subsequent social and political tensions. Efficient practices are, therefore, required for the allocation and optimal use of water resources. Water pricing and adoption of suitable tariffs may serve as instruments for demand management to achieve the required water management practices. Along these lines, the current tariffs used by the municipal drinking water sector and the consumption patterns of consumers in Neyshabour were studied over six two-month periods per year during 1380-1383.  Results show that average per capita consumption is 135 lit/day, which increases as we move from the first to the third period, and then decreases toward the sixth period. Moreover, the highest percentage of connections had a consumption level of about 5 to 22.5 m3/month while a very low percentage had a consumption level of over 65 m3/month. Examination of current tariffs against water consumption patterns revealed that current tariffs are too low to be capable of controlling consumption. In addition to high losses to water & sewage companies, an inevitable outcome of the current tariffs seems to be encouragement of more water consumption, none of which is compatible with water pricing policies and objectives.


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