Deco warns of “high discrepancy” in water prices between municipalities

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Tariffs for water and sanitation services continue to differ widely between municipalities, according to a study by Deco Proteste, which argues for urgent regulation of tariffs and investment in infrastructure rehabilitation.

In a note on the study, revealed in the December Proteste magazine, consumer protection association Deco warns that the price differences between municipalities in the overall bill exceed 376 euros.

“For more than a decade, Deco PROTeste has been warning of the dysfunction caused by the disparities in the prices of water and sanitation services in Portugal,” reads the note, in which the association demands “urgency in the regulation of tariffs through legislation”.

Deco Proteste also insists on “urgent investment in infrastructure rehabilitation”, saying that “if this doesn’t happen, it will aggravate the already current waste of 180 million cubic meters of water per year in Portugal”.

According to the association, in 2023, the municipalities of Amarante (Porto district) and Fundão (Castelo Branco district) had the highest bills for 120 and 180 m3 of water.

In the case of 120 m3 of water, the five municipalities in Portugal with the highest annual tariffs are Amarante (470.13 euros), Oliveira de Azeméis (468.68 euros), Trofa (467.25), Baião (453.32 euros) and Celorico de Basto (451.10 euros).

For annual consumption of 180 m3, the five municipalities with the highest tariffs are Fundão (751.64 euros), Oliveira de Azeméis (684.10 euros), Santa Maria da Feira (682.82 euros), Celorico de Basto (668.91 euros) and Covilhã (666 euros).

“Through a national analysis, Deco PROTeste concludes that tariff dispersion is very high for 120 m3, worsening the gap for consumption increases of 180 m3. In mainland Portugal, supply, sanitation and solid waste services reach a difference of 376.04 euros in the overall bill between municipalities for the same consumption of 120 m3 per year,” concludes the association.

In the case of annual consumption of 180 m3, the disparity between municipalities with the lowest and highest overall bill widens to 625.73 euros.

As far as the sanitation service is concerned, Deco’s study indicates that there are differences of 172 euros and 332.40 euros between municipalities with the lowest and highest tariffs, respectively for consumption of 120 m3 and 180 m3.

In addition to defending the regulation of tariffs and investment in infrastructure rehabilitation, DECO also considers it “decisive that the application of the social tariff be extended and automatic for the three components of the bill (supply, sanitation and solid urban waste)”.

Deco has made an online tool available on the Sustainability Portal with a comparison of tariffs and information aimed at answering questions from consumers in Portugal’s 308 municipalities, at https://www.deco.proteste.pt/sustentabilidade/fatura-agua.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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