Baku, Azerbaijan — (METERING.COM) — July 8, 2008 – A massive project involving the deployment of close to 1 million water meters to citizens of Azerbaijan is well under way, with completion scheduled for 2009. As at July 2005, only 4.4% of connections had installed meters.
Azersu, the country’s water utility, recognized the need for water metering several years ago. Supplies were erratic, and infrastructure severely degraded. In addition there was considerable wastage because of the inability to charge residents for the water they consumed, and illegal connections to water lines meant that the utility was not receiving payment for much of the water distributed. Azersu established a dedicated task team to visit customer premises and check for violations; in the first nine months of 2007 alone supplies to over 17,000 customers were discontinued for non-payment of their water bills.
Since the deployment of meters began, paying bills has been made easier as residents are able to pay at local banks and post offices.
In January 2005, the Government of Azerbaijan issued a decree on water metering “for the purpose of efficient water consumption, water distribution and improvement of registration and acceleration of water metering.” This regulation authorized Azersu to install water meters, regardless of ownership form, at points of water delivery, enabling better control of water production, distribution, and consumption for domestic and non-domestic use. The project also allows the financing of additional rehabilitation works on the distribution network.