Algarve councils will no longer increase the price of water

At issue is the refusal of some mayors to increase tariffs, some of whom voted in favor of the proposal

After all, the Algarve Chambers will no longer increase water tariffs. The guarantee was given to Sul Informação by António Pina, president of AMAL – Comunidade Intermunicipal do Algarve, who spares no criticism of the Algarve PSD mayors, accusing them of “political gamesmanship and irresponsibility”.

«The measure will no longer be applied. (…) The proposal only made sense if everyone complied with it», summarized the mayor of Olhão.

The proposal referred to by António Pina is the one approved by the AMAL Intermunicipal Council, which brings together the region's 16 mayors, and which predicted an increase of between 15 and 50% in the price of water for urban consumption in the Algarve, a measure to be applied from the second consumption bracket onwards and which would come into force in March.

However, a few days later, Rogério Bacalhau, José Carlos Rolo and Francisco Amaral, presidents of the Chambers of Faro, Albufeira and Castro Marim, respectively, went public to show that they were “unavailable to increase the price of water”.

It didn't take long until the Silves Chamber I also said I wasn't going to increase the water. At the end of last week, PS mayors also began to back down.

This despite this measure, according to the president of AMAL, having received favorable votes from all Chambers, except from the councilor of the Silves Chamber, who was at the meeting where the vote was taken on behalf of Rosa Palma, president of the municipality.

«Two days after voting in favor of the proposal, [the PSD mayors] left what was said unsaid, without even informing the other fellow mayors», complained António Pina.

The president of AMAL accuses his social-democratic counterparts of only having changed their minds «after Miguel Pinto Luz [head of the PSD list by the circle of Faro] have come to criticize the measure».

To Jornal Expresso, which shared the news, the mayor from Olhão even claimed that «the candidate from Cascais that the PSD chose for the Algarve pulled the ears to the PSD mayors", which is why they changed their minds.

Speaking to the same newspaper, Rogério Bacalhau rejected the accusation that he changed his opinion under pressure from Miguel Pinto Luz.

«I had said at AMAL that I didn't agree but I accepted it. We are one of the municipalities that have the highest tariffs in the Algarve. An increase of 15%, in other municipalities, represented an increase of 1 cent per cubic meter of water consumed, here it would be 20 cents. When I saw this, I decided I wasn't going to increase the price», said the Farense mayor.

The objective of this measure was to promote water savings, with a view to meeting the target of reducing domestic water consumption by 15% in all municipalities in the region, set out in the contingency plan to combat drought and water scarcity. in the Algarve.

And António Pina defends its relevance, claiming that «if people saved water, they would end up paying the same as they pay now».

And alternatives? «Now we need to ask each of the mayors. Each of us is obliged to reduce consumption by 15%. We have to find a way to do it».

What is certain is that, taking into account data from the Portuguese Environment Agency regarding water consumption in the Algarve, this increased by almost 5% in January and was close to 20 cubic hectometers (hm3) – more than the 15 hm3 of water that the rain that fell in February deposited in the region's reservoirs.


Read some more!
A strong region needs a strong press and, these days, the press depends on its readers. We make all Sul Infomação content available free of charge, because we believe that it is not through barriers that the public approaches responsible and quality journalism. Therefore, your contribution is essential.  
Contribute here!