Sustainable water management is crucial for economic development

22Jan 2020
The Guardian
Sustainable water management is crucial for economic development

Water metering is the process of measuring water use. In many developed countries water meters are used to measure the volume of water used by residential and commercial buildings that are supplied with water by a public water supply system.

Water meters can also be used at the water source, well, or throughout a water system to determine flow through a particular portion of the system.

In most of the world water meters measure flow in cubic metres (m3) or litres   but in the USA and some other countries water meters are calibrated in cubic feet (ft.3) or US gallons on a mechanical or electronic register. Some electronic meter registers can display rate-of-flow in addition to total usage.

There are several types of water meters in common use. The choice depends on the flow measurement method, the type of end-user, the required flow rates, and accuracy requirements.

Water meters are generally owned, read and maintained by a public water provider such as a city, rural water association or private water company. In some cases an owner of a mobile home park, apartment complex or commercial building may be billed by a utility based on the reading of one meter, with the costs shared among the tenants based on some sort of key (size of flat, number of inhabitants or by separately tracking the water consumption of each unit in what is called submetering .

At least 700,000 water meters have been tested for quality by the Weight and Measures Agency (WMA) in the last four years, to ensure value for money when users pay bills.

During the period, around 570,000 verified meters were approved for use while about 130,000 meters were not approved as they showed various defects.

WMA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ludovic Manege told a press conference in Dar es Salaam last year that the exercise was among initiatives by the fifth phase government to ensure that people get quality water but also that they are fairly billed.

The government has embarked on various projects to ensure supply of clean and potable water, including construction of deep water wells.

The press conference was intended to highlight achievements attained by WMA in the four years of President John Magufuli, where he said the government gave the weights and measures agency 500m/- to purchase the water meter testing equipment.

“The government targeted ensuring quality water services and fair billing. With the water meter bench, consumers will now be paying exact bills,” he said Dr Manege, noting further that during the period the agency issued 12.5bn/- to the Treasury as dividends.

The meter testing equipments have been distributed to regions across the country.During the period WMA also managed to construct the Misugusugu weigh bridge especially to cater for fuel tankers.

The Misugusugu facility can weigh up to 60 lorries per day compared to the earlier weigh bridge in Ilala, Kinondoni and Temeke districts, with the capacity to weigh only eight large trucks per day.

The weigh bridge has to a large extent helped to ease congestion among vehicles carrying oil to Zambia, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

On the agriculture sector, he said WMA has administered effective measurements of strategic crops such as cashew nuts, cotton and coffee.

Dr Manege said the aim was to ensure that farmers are protected by ensuring that all weighing machines used by Agricultural Marketing Co-operative Societies (AMCOS) are verified by WMA.

The amendment of the Weight and Measures Act along with the review and consolidation of weights and measures legislation was meant to control tampering with weighing devices 

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