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NWC confident consumers will not face unreasonably high water bills arising from private sector investment

The National Water Commission (NWC) is seeking to assure consumers that the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) will have the final say in whether they will be paying higher water bills, based on a US$77 million public-private sector project.

NWC President Mark Barnett explained on Monday that the OUR will manage the process to determine the rates based on the representations made by private sector companies.

The deal was recently announced for construction of a treatment plant in Content, St Catherine, to facilitate the distribution of an additional 15 million gallons of water to the Kingston Metropolitan Area, daily. 

The new plant will reduce the need for water trucking and water restrictions in affected areas, and is being built and operated through a public-private partnership between the NWC and a consortium of private entities. 

Concern has been raised that, with private sector involvement, water bills will become unbearably high.

But even as he acknowledged that the private sector entities will seek to recoup their expenses, Mr Barnett, speaking on Radio Jamaica's Beyond the Headlilnes, expressed confidence that the regulator will achieve a balance and the public will not suffer.