The days of extra-low cost water may soon be over in Taiwan as the Ministry of Economic Affairs plans to slap a fee on industrial businesses that are found to be wasteful. The following are excerpts of major local newspapers' reports on the proposal: United Daily News: Details are still sketchy but the principle of the proposed "water consumption fee" is to encourage better use of the resource. It is not targeted at factories that use the most water but those that are inefficient. Under the proposal, a ceiling would be set for each plant and the rate will double for any usage over that volume. Currently the industrial water rate is NT$11 (US$0.36) per cubic meter, the same as it has been for the last 20 years. In addition to the regulation that would oblige industrial companies to publish their "water footprints," all new buildings would be required to install water conservation equipment, according to the proposal. Taiwan would not be the first to impose a surcharge on heavy users of water. Denmark, the Netherlands, Russia, Germany, Singapore and some cities in China have alreay imposed some kind of water tax or surcharge. China Times: The proposal would be incorporated into the Water Supply Act in the form of an entirely new section dedicated to water conservation. The revised law is expected to take effect in 2015 or 2016 at the earliest. For older buildings, the government is considering subsidies for occupants to attach water-saving devices to their washing machines and toilets. The water surcharge would not apply to households although it is hoped the residential conservation measures would help cut the daily consumption per capita from the current 269 liters to 250 liters.