BE considers «unacceptable» increase in water tariff after PRR investments

At issue is, for example, the cost of desalination of sea water for human consumption

The Bloco de Esquerda argues that "it will be unacceptable" for there to be an increase in water tariffs for the final consumer, in the Algarve, following the investments that are being made to reinforce the water availability in the region, within the scope of the Recovery and Resilience Plan .

The position comes after a meeting between a delegation of the Regional Coordinating Committee of the Left Block and the management of the Águas do Algarve Company, at the request of the BE, where, among other topics, the implementation of the PRR was discussed.

More specifically, issues such as "the construction of the desalination plant and its environmental impacts, the price of water tariffs for the final consumer, monitoring and combating water losses in the public supply network, the reuse of wastewater and the water collection in Pomarão for the Odeleite dam».

The blockers questioned the possible increase in water tariffs, "as the president of the Association of Municipalities of the Algarve/AMAL and the Government have been defending, in return for the investments" that will be made.

«Water, as a public good essential to life, and scarce, should not be managed as if it were a business, but rather be managed with public management, efficient and judicious. These investments, in addition to being small, have long been claimed by the Algarve and its populations», they argue.

For Bloco de Esquerda «the implementation of the PRR assumes its importance in the Algarve, however it is necessary to be aware that it will not be the “magic wand” to solve the main problems that the region faces. It is essential that there be a commission to monitor its implementation at national level, including in the Algarve, as “insurance is dead of old”».

On the other hand, «the Algarve/PREHA Regional Water Efficiency Plan, despite being positive, will have a very small impact on combating drought and climate change».

Another issue that was on the table was that of the environmental impacts of the projects that will be implemented, whose minimization BE considers of “primary importance”, similarly to the use of renewable energies for water production, in the future desalination plant.

The prolonged period of drought that affects the Algarve and has lasted for several years was also a concern expressed by the blockers at the meeting.

«Although the public supply of water to the population is guaranteed this year, there is some apprehension about the availability of water reserves for the following years. In addition to the measures to be implemented within the scope of the PRR, other substantive ones are needed at the level of the Government and its agencies, municipalities, business and agriculture, such as the reuse of wastewater in public spaces, gardens, in industrial use , on golf courses and other undertakings, as well as in the monitoring and efficient use of water in agricultural irrigation, using crops that are less water consuming and more resilient to drought phenomena», concluded the BE.