A new inspection drive has been launched to catch and fine those who flout Qatar’s water and electricity wastage rules, utilities provider Kahramaa has announced.
In a video posted on its Snapchat account “Kahramaa.live” this month, inspectors from conservation arm Tarsheed were seen fining a venue for having outdoor lights on during the day.
For some, the inspections may come as a surprise, as Tarsheed has previously complained that it often lacks the legal authority to inspect homes and other venues.
But the Peninsula reports Fahad Al Hanzab, head of the Legal Monitoring Unit at Tarsheed, as saying in the video that some inspectors do have judicial powers.
“They visit the facilities to enforce the Tarsheed law. Law No. 20 of 2016 has banned using drinking water for washing vehicles, equipment and outer parts of homes with gushing hoses.”
Qatar is among the world’s largest consumers of water and electricity per capita. This is in part because the two utilities are so heavily subsidized by the government.
However, the cost of energy did go up last year.
And amid warnings of upcoming austerity measures, curbing consumption has become even more important.
It is against the law in Qatar to keep external lights on between 7am and 4pm, and to use running water from a hose on gardens or to wash cars.
Last year, Qatar doubled the maximum penalties for water and electricity wastage.
Now, residents who use drinking water to wash cars or equipment or clean courtyards can be fined up to QR20,000.
Residents or owners can also be fined for water leakages caused by damaged pipes.
Additionally, those who leave their outside lights switched on during the day can face fines of up to QR10,000. It is not illegal, however, for buildings to leave their lights on at night.
Qatar has set specific water and power reduction targets through 2018, and is currently working to meet these goals.
The country aims to reduce energy consumption per capita from 43 KWh/day currently to 39KWh/day by then.
It also aims to cut the amount of water used from 595L/day to 459 L/day.
In an encouraging development, officials said earlier this year that per-person electricity use declined by 14 percent in the past three years.
And per capita water consumption fell by 17 percent between April 2012 and November 2015.