Portimão no, Vila do Bispo yes: PS divided over water increase

Measure applies from the second consumption level onwards, but is causing division

The decision was taken at the headquarters of AMAL – Algarve Intermunicipal Community, where PS mayors have a large majority, but it is causing division among the socialists themselves. Despite approval, by majority, not all mayors of this political color will increase the price of water, essentially following what the PSD and PCP mayors will also do. 

The expected increases, which vary between 15 and 50%, even result from the “instrument proposed” by the Water and Waste Services Regulatory Entity (ERSAR), as justified by the president of AMAL António Pina, but it is not achieving unanimity.

Ao Sul Informação, Isilda Gomes, mayor of Portimão, guaranteed that, in her municipality, the price of water “will not increase”.

«What we are going to do is take other measures, such as installing humidity meters and watering fountains only for 15 minutes in the morning and another 15 in the afternoon», he explained.

According to Isilda Gomes, one of the main faces of the PS in the Algarve, the Portimão municipality is also "doing everything to reduce consumption", also raising awareness among "consumers", namely through campaigns by its Municipal Water and Waste Company, The EMARP.

In Vila do Bispo, the story is different.

Also led by a socialist – Rute Silva -, the Chamber has already approved, at the meeting on February 6th, the new tariff which includes increases, with votes in favor of the PS, the abstention of the independent councilors of “Somos Vila do Bispo” and the vote against by the PSD councilor.

In statements to the Sul Informação, the president of the Chamber announced that the increases will come into force on March 1st, as scheduled.

The decision was also taken because Vila do Bispo has «one of the lowest tariffs in the Algarve», having not increased prices «for a long time, unlike other municipalities».

«The increase is just another measure that is part of others that we are taking», explained the mayor.

These measures also include the installation of telemetry meters, flow reducers, awareness campaigns and the use of treated wastewater, coming from the Sagres WWTP, to wash streets.

With the increase in water prices, one of the objectives also ends up being «raising awareness among citizens to reduce consumption», argued Rute Silva.

Asked about the fact that the decision was not receiving a “yes” from all socialist mayors, the mayor of Vila do Bispo replied that “it will always be difficult not to have mixed signals because the decisions are made by councils”.

In Tavira, Ana Paula Martins, president of the Chamber, has also hinted that she will not increase the price of water in the municipality.

The measures to be taken will include, for example, water pressure reduction tests.

O Sul Informação He tried to contact the mayor for several days to confirm whether or not the cost of water will increase in Tavira, but without success.

The same happened with António Pina, president of AMAL, from whom we wanted to obtain a comment on this duality of decisions by the different local authorities, some of them from the PS, but it was also not possible to speak with the mayor of Olhão.


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