In a year characterized by the pandemic crisis, the 6th edition of the Comparative Study of Water Supply Tariffs in Portugal, carried out by the Portuguese Large Families Association (APFN), reveals many differences in the price of water in Portugal, considering the municipality in which people live and also the family size.
Overall, the airness of the cost of water consumption in Portugal, in the year 2020, fell when compared to 2019.
In 2020, there was a worsening of the discrimination at the level of the place of residence of families, through an increase in disparities in the basic price of water.
In addition, in 2020 larger Portuguese families pay on average more for each m3 of water consumed than smaller families. A person in a family with ten members pays, on average, 1-06€/m3, more than twice as much as a person who lives alone, who pays on average €0.51/m3.
In 2020, 10 new family tariffs emerged, with the number of municipalities with this water supply tariff rising to 215 (70% of the national total).
Lisbon, Santarém and Viana do Castelo are the only districts in which all municipalities have specific tariffs for large families. However, the APFN draws attention to the inefficiency of many of these tariffs. Their design and effectiveness do not always meet the intended objectives. The goal is that a glass of water costs the same for everyone, regardless of family size and location.
The APFN considers that the “per capita” consumption of each household (with all the elements that inhabit it, descendants and ascendants) must be considered instead of the household total consumption, so that effectively a glass of water costs the same for everyone.
Despite the deterioration in the level of equality, the COVID-19 pandemic caused many municipalities to adopt exceptional measures in order to relieve the social situation of many families.
As they are temporary measures, the 6th edition of the Comparative Study of Water Supply Tariffs of Portugal did not include them in its evaluation. Among these measures, we emphasize the temporary suspension of payment for families in economic need; as well as the reduction/exemption of up to 50% in variable water tariffs, sanitation and solid waste tariffs for all domestic consumers, as well as the exemption from fixed water, wastewater and solid waste tariffs for a limited time.
The Comparative Study of Water Supply Tariffs in Portugal, carried out by the Portuguese Large Families Association (APFN), is sponsored by the Millennium bcp Foundation.