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German water is most expensive on the planet

Posted on 12:55 PM by Sameer Shah

Famously overcast Germany charges the most for water despite the heavens opening on a regular basis.


British gardeners infuriated by hosepipe bans despite seemingly year-round rain can take some comfort, after a new survey revealed the situation is worse in Germany.

Germans pay more for their water than anybody else on the planet according to the study. At £1.50 per 1000 litres, prices are four times as much as in America, and twice as much as in parched Australia. Britons on average pay £1.18 for the same amount, a little less than the Belgians.

As the Berlin summer was interrupted by yet more showers on Monday, German water users reacted to the news with grumbles familiar the length and breadth of the UK.

"We have masses of water," wrote one reader to Die Welt newspaper. "It's just that the water companies let everything leak into the rivers. Germans are being ripped off because our politicians are useless. Everything has been run wrong for 20 years." The survey was produced by energy consultants NUS, which monitors electricity, gas, oil and water prices every quarter.

Senior energy analyst at NUS, Bruce Blazey, said that British customers still have a lot to complain about.

"In the UK it seems to be constantly raining and yet the reservoirs seem to dry out so quickly," he said. "You have towns flooded the whole time and yet hosepipe bans are in force.

"There's just not enough being spent on infrastructure, and the pipelines are just really bad. Thames Water is dreadful. They blame it on the wartime damage - that nothing's been really properly repaired since the 1940s."

Glum British gardeners can take some solace for their wilting blooms, however, by indulging in a little German-style schadenfreude over Teutonic tap-prices.

"When you look at the survey you realise that we're not the most expensive, amazing as it seems," said Mr Blazey.

NUS puts high water prices in Germany down to the fact that rates are controlled at local level, with cities keen to cash in on water to fund other projects. This "stealth taxing" has pushed Germany to number one in the water-cost charts.

But that may soon change. While German water prices have scarcely budged in the last five years, the survey revealed that UK water charges have increased by almost 50 percent. At the current rate, London water prices will soon overtake those in Berlin.

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