MADRID – Depending on where you live, the water bill in Spain can be up to €278.50 a year more expensive or cheaper than elsewhere in the country. The Spanish consumer association Facua recently published the results of their research into water tariffs.
Facua compared the rates for the year 2021 for the water supply to households from 57 Spanish cities. The conclusion of the survey on water prices in Spain is that Ceuta is the city with the most expensive water for a consumption of 9 m3, followed by Murcia. Furthermore, the average price for water supply in Spain is €14.86 per month.
Then the most expensive cities differ based on the water meter one has. For a meter with a caliber of 13 mm follow Cádiz, Valencia, and Palma (Mallorca). However, in the case of 15mm gauges, the third position is for Santa Cruz de Tenerife followed by Valencia and Huelva.
Rate fluctuations represent a difference of up to €278.50 (before taxes) per year for a property with a consumption of 9 cubic metres per month: from €4.84 per month paid in León to €28.04 paid in Ceuta .
The FACUA study takes two models as reference: a household with three residents and a monthly consumption of 9 or 13 cubic metres, with a meter gauge of 13 or 15 mm.
In conclusion, only nine cities distinguish in their tariffs the meter caliber in these two modalities of 13 or 15 mm, the two most common in Spanish households: Albacete, Castellón, Girona, Granada, Guadalajara, Huelva, Huesca, Madrid, Valencia, and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Therefore, the consumer association questions the existence of this price differentiation based on the gauge of the meter. Because there are no technical reasons for this.
In León, people pay the least for water
Facua has found the cheapest water tariff in León, with a price of €4.83 for water consumption of 9 cubic meters per month. It is also the cheapest city for monthly consumption of 13 m3, regardless of the thickness of the meter, with a rate of €7.30. For consumption of 9 m3, Palencia follows at €6.97 euros and Soria with €7.54 per month; Oviedo with €7.72 and Ourense with €8.23.
Nine out of ten of the cities analysed have not changed their rates in 2021. However, the largest increase occurred in San Sebastián, 2.4 and 2.6% depending on consumption (9 or 13 m3 per month). Whereas in León and Ciudad Real the increase was almost imperceptible. Meanwhile, in Alicante and Santander, the rates were slightly lower.
Facua advocates progressive tariff
Based on this data, Facua calls on municipalities to introduce a progressive pricing system. This would better reflect household consumption by the number of inhabitants. On that basis, excessive consumption can then be punished in a more fair and realistic way. Facua argues that a unit price that does not take into account the number of persons per household prevents one from knowing who is actually saving on water consumption and who is wasteful.