Water costs to rise in 2008

CONSUMERS ARE facing an increase of more than 15 per cent in their water bill from the beginning of 2008 in the Algarve.

Águas do Algarve, the local water company, justifies the increase because the investments being made in the sewerage system must be reflected in the final consumer.

The company has invested 95 million euros in the construction of several new Estações de Tratamento de Águas (ETAR), water treatment stations, and expects to spend a further 190 millions euros to modernise the existing ETAR facilities and build new ones during next year.

The cost, it says, will have to be covered by customers of Águas do Algarve, the local Câmaras and, consequently, all the water consumers that depend on the public water system.

The sewerage system’s maintenance cost is currently 0.45 euros per cubic metre and is expected to rise to 0.52 euros, while the water cost is due to rise from 0.41 euros to 0.42 euros per cubic metre.

Cheap rubbish

In contrast to the investments in the water systems in the region, which were supported by the EU in covering about 85 per cent of the cost, only 10 per cent of the investments in the sewerage system are to be financed by European funds.

Meanwhile, Algar, the local waste collection company, expects to reduce the cost of rubbish collection by about 0.55 per cent as a result of the alternative income resources of the company, like the energy produced through a biogas plant and the future wind turbines plant under construction in the western area of the Algarve.

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