ORIHUELA city council has announced that the costs of water bills will increase by €1 per month.
The purpose of the rise is to renew the pipes within the municipality and stop a number of leaks in the network from which it’s estimated 21 per cent of tap water is currently being lost; translating into 1.5 cubic hectometres being wasted each year.
This compares to the average in the Vega Baja where around 18 per cent is lost and large cities such as Elche where that figure drops to 15 per cent. Orihuela city council is facing up to their own situation by increasing water bills by €12 per year that will enable them to finance the old pipelines.
Orihuela has a total of 1,050 kilometres of underground water pipes. As many as 30 per cent of the pipes are more than 40-years-old and 70 per cent more than 20-years-old. The ageing of the pipework and the lack of investment over a number of years has contributed to the loss of water; in 2013, the loss was 15 per cent compared to the 21 per cent now.
The manager of Hidraqua in Orihuela, Juan José Alonso, said that Orihuela should increase the performance and effectiveness of their networks otherwise it will be faced with increasing the rates even higher than desired.
Not every household will pay the €1 charge per month. Those that consume the most water will pay the most.