Water prices in the Alentejo show "great disparities" within the same district, with municipalities "severely penalizing families," according to a study by the Portuguese Association of Large Families (APFN).
The 4th edition of the Water Study reveals that families "continue to be discriminated against in access to water, according to their size and the municipality where they live".
"Families are penalized in their size as the value charged per cubic meter consumed is not only not the same for all household members as it goes up as the household grows," the association said in a statement.
According to the study promoted by the association, in the district of Beja in Almodôvar, a person living alone annually pays 12.48 euros and the same person in Odemira pays six times more – 78.24 euros.
In the Évora district, Mourão is the municipality that discriminates families up to 5 elements and Portel is the most penalizing for households with 7 or more elements.
In the district of Beja, the municipality of Serpa is the one that denotes more discrimination by the family dimension: a family with seven elements pays 10 times more for water than a person living alone. Specifically, a person living alone pays 31.44 euros per year and a family with 7 members pays 304.92 euros per year.
Favorably, Mora altered the water price base rate, bringing the municipality to the 4th position of the national "ranking" of water prices charged to households.
In the Portalegre district there are large variations from year to year in tariffs: in 2016, Castelo de Vide occupied 291st place in the ranking, in 2017 it moved to 5th place and in 2018 it dropped again to 228 Position.
The APFN maintains that "the value to be paid for a glass of water should always be the same, and its price can not depend on the number of elements that make up the household or the municipality where the families live."
For the association, it should be ensured that, as a matter of principle, the same per capita consumption must correspond to the same price per cubic meter.
On the other hand, the billing of water "must always be made in a logic of consumption" per capita ", which takes into account not only the descendants but also the ascendants that can be part of the household," argues the APFN.
Of the 43 municipalities in the Alentejo, 24 have a family water tariff, or about 56%. "However, there is no standard model for the construction of these tariffs and its effectiveness does not always meet the objectives of its creation," he added.