Thursday, July 28, 2005

Acute water shortage in Madinah :: Arab News

I wonder how much worse things would be if there wasn't a black market.

The shortage is a repeat of the problem that faces Madinah and many other cities in the Kingdom during summer.

The problem peaked two days ago when the temperatures reached more than 50 degrees Celsius. Residents who were not connected to the water mains had to turn to the blackmarket and suffer the sharp increase in prices.

The hardest hit area was that of Al-Iskan — where more than 10,000 people live — Al-Harra Al-Gharbiya and Al-Harra Al-Sharqiya neighborhoods and the central area where there is a high concentration of Umrah visitors.
. . .
Officials at the water authority in Madinah said the official price of a water tanker has not increased and that they are not responsible for the blackmarketeering. They attribute the water crises to a problem in the distribution network.
Let's put the facts together: The problem recurs every summer. It peaked when temperatures went above 50 degree Celsius. Conclusion: this points a problem of quanity supplied not meeting quantity demanded at current prices, not with an inability to distribute an adequate quantity. The water authority has put itself in the position of sole provider, and it is proving unable to fulfill its obligation.

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