A new incidence of “water wars” has come to the surface in Santa Maria da Feira, where company Indaqua Feira is writing to residents, informing them they must stop using their own wells and private boreholes, so that the company can start charging them for its services. The residents are up-in-arms and have set up a petition. Their lawyer Sérgio Cirino has told reporters Indaqua Feira’s plan is illegal.
This promises to be a battle along the lines of one fought, and so far lost (click here), in Loulé’s Vale do Lobo – where expats have been objecting strongly to what they consider unrelated charges levied by water supplier Infralobo (part owned by Loulé council).
In Santa Maria da Feira’s case, Indaqua Feira wants to start charging people who have their own water supplies “a calculated rate of consumption”.
As householder Manuel Melo has told Correio da Manhã, this is “the thin end of the wedge”.
“I have used water from my own well for years, and now this company is threatening me with legal action if I do not pay for an average consumption that they are going to calculate! I already pay €17 a month for water that I do not even consume!”
Indaqua Feira has explained that the company wants people to pay the new rates as they need to charge for sewerage services.