New water bills soon as Diam introduces internal billing system

Muscat - 

Diam (formerly Public Authority for Electricity and Water) will soon start issuing new water bills as it prepares to transfer the issuing of these bills from collection companies to itself.

As it prepares for the transfer, Diam said that water bills for July will be distributed with August bills. “The task of issuing water bills will be transferred from the collection companies to Diam. This comes in the framework of developing and updating the billing system in order to provide the best services to valued subscribers,” Diam said in a public notice. “Therefore, as this process will take some time to complete, we would like to inform our subscribers that the water bills for July 2017 will be distributed with August bills.”

Mohammed bin Abdullah al Mahrouqi, chairman, Diam, stated in the Annual Report 2016 issued recently, that ‘Diam hopes to collect more accurate and quality data for distributed water after its step to separate the meter reading activity from billing and collection, and introduce a new internal billing system, which is expected to start on July 1, 2017’.

Diam is also working to restructure the water and wastewater sectors, which will result in the establishment of an independent regulatory authority looking after not only potable water desalination and distribution, but also wastewater services and water resources in general.

It is currently participating in the restructuring project, which is being managed by Nama Group under the supervision of the Water Sector Restructuring Steering Committee in which all the important industry stakeholders are represented. “Consultants appointed by Nama completed their work on developing an outline structure for the sector at the end of 2016. This sets the framework for the next stage - the implementation of the selected structure. It is clear that the new structure will bring formal economic regulation to the sector and Diam is continuing to develop its own internal ‘shadow regulation’ framework in preparation for this.”

The authority is also aiming to have a stricter control over operators of private water networks. “It has been apparent for some time that the current situation regarding the operation of private water networks is poorly controlled. As a consequence, the authority is in the process of developing a system of licences for the various categories of private water networks. These licences will improve customer protection and clarify the rights and responsibilities of the various parties ahead of the introduction of a formal independent regulator for the sector,” it said.

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