Lebanon is increasingly suffering from shortage and mismanagement of water, which is becoming a commodity of considerable value owing to the inadequacy of supply to meet the needs of potential users. Water authorities and establishments fix tariffs that users have to pay to obtain water. In fact, these tariffs should represent the total costs of providing good quality water in adequate quantities. However, currently domestic water tariffs in Lebanon are mostly flat and not enough to cover the salaries of the employees and the charges of minor maintenance works. Domestic water is sold at a nominal daily flow where rates are lower for smaller towns and increase proportionally. In addition, not all subscribers are actually paying their dues and the water authorities are unable to control and limit illegal connections. As for irrigation practices, water is generally priced at a flat rate or at rates that are associated with the area that the users are allowed to invest in. This paper describes the different aspects of the water tariff structures in Lebanon, provides a review of the current water tariffs available for the different sectors and presents recommendations and ideas for a new water tariff system in the newly formed water authorities.

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