By PAULO SILVESTRE [email protected]
Water services will become increasingly more expensive in most of the councils in the Algarve.
Albufeira, Vila Real de Santo António, Lagos and Lagoa municipalities have already announced significant increases, with Lagos Câmara applying a 44 per cent rise over the next two years.
A spokesman from Lagos Câmara told the Algarve Resident: “There is going to be an update for water supply, sanitation and solid waste treatment, which aims to gradually reduce the deficit in these sectors and simultaneously ensure a socially acceptable price, given the current economic difficulties that most families are facing.”
The increases will be 20 per cent for water, 33 per cent for sanitation and 66 per cent for solid waste.
According to Lagos Câmara, the price charged to consumers will still be below the actual cost of the services provided.
“Lagos has the sixth lowest billing of the 16 municipalities in the Algarve, which is also lower than the national average,” added the spokesman.
The study carried out by the Câmara demonstrated that the use of water, sanitation and solid waste services, which are essential for the quality of life of citizens and the image of the city and the rest of the council as a whole, was becoming more expensive to the municipality.
These services have been a big drain on municipal finances, despite efforts to reduce operating costs.
“The study revealed that measures, such as good management and use of water resources, renewal of networks and reformulation of water bills, need to be adopted,” said the spokesman.
Pensioners, retirees, households with two dependent children, large families, families in which the woman is pregnant, schools, charitable institutions, churches, sports and cultural centres, and fire departments will be exempt from the new increases.
Meanwhile, a spokesman from Albufeira Câmara said water bills will increase in the county by around 30 to 40 per cent.
In Lagoa, sanitation charges will increase the most, with a rise on average of more than 69 per cent. Water supply charges will increase by 2.7 per cent.
Vila Real de Santo António doubled its water bill charge, from €0.72 to €1.44 per cubic metre.
Meanwhile, in Faro, the company responsible for the water services, FAGAR, has said it will reduce the amount paid of 40 per cent of its medium to low income residents by around 15 per cent.