JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Over the next three months, customers of the National Water Commission (NWC) will have the opportunity to bring their outstanding accounts up-to-date, under its new debt forgiveness programme.
  • The programme, ‘Cruncher 180’, which was rolled out on July 1, is one of several new initiatives of the NWC aimed at significantly increasing revenue collections and reducing receivables at the entity.
  • Under the programme, persons are being encouraged to “come forth and make amends for the illegality that they have been perpetuating for many years.”

Over the next three months, customers of the National Water Commission (NWC) will have the opportunity to bring their outstanding accounts up-to-date, under its new debt forgiveness programme.

The programme, ‘Cruncher 180’, which was rolled out on July 1, is one of several new initiatives of the NWC aimed at significantly increasing revenue collections and reducing receivables at the entity, to enable the continued provision of high quality water service across the country.

Speaking at the event at the offices of the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) in Kingston, Acting President, NWC, Mark Barnett, said under the programme, persons are being encouraged to “come forth and make amends for the illegality that they have been perpetuating for many years.”

The programme seeks to address the issue of non revenue water (NRW), which accounts for 67 per cent of production which cannot be accounted for, with illegal connections being the main contributor.

“Our assessment is that approximately 50 per cent of the 67 per cent is as a result of persons taking water illegally. In other words, the commercial aspect of the NRW is about 40 per cent of what we are not able to collect reve-nue from,” he said.

According to an NWC release, under the promotion, accounts in arrears to the Commission of 180 days and over will be given an opportunity to settle a percentage of the outstanding balances and receive a write-off of between 40 and 60 per cent.

Customers who respond within the first month of the programme (July) and pay 40 per cent of the outstanding balance, with a commitment to pay their subsequent current bills, will have the remaining 60 per cent written off by the Commission.

“Persons who come in during this first month may opt for the other two combinations of write-offs also. Customers who respond by the second month of the programme (August) and pay 50 per cent of the outstanding balance, with a commitment to pay their subsequent current bills, will have the remaining 50 per cent written off by the Commission,” the document read.

In addition, persons who come in during the second month may opt for the benefits available in the third month of the programme, should they choose. Similarly, customers who respond by the third and final month (September) and pay 60 per cent of the qualifying outstanding balance will have the remaining 40 per cent written off by the Commission.

Although conditions apply to the programme, ‘Cruncher 180’ is aimed at both active and disconnected water accounts, whether commercial or residential.

The NWC further warns that failure on the part of indebted, disconnected customers and persons illegally receiving service from the Commission to take advantage of these extraordinary offers will result in them being targeted for disconnection, arrest, prosecution, bailiff action, court action and even the sale of properties.