Mexico’s federal district (DF) is looking to introduce a new tariff system for potable water that will charge users according to their socioeconomic status, paper El Universal reported.
The new scheme involves adjustments to the potable water subsidy depending on the average income of each area, as well as the amount of water consumed per household.
Under the new system, each block of the city would fall into one of four economic categories, with the highest-earning areas receiving the lowest subsidies.
Water authorities will use factors such as the proximity of each block to services such as public transport, banks, schools and universities, as well as information from a 2005 census, to determine which category it falls into.
Additional discounts will be applied for senior citizens, and residents in areas where the potable water service is intermittent or poor quality, the report said.
Residents who consume less than 20m3 per month will receive the full subsidy no matter what their socioeconomic status, water utility SACM head Ramón Aguirre was quoted as saying.
The new tariff system will be presented to the DF lower house on November 30, and, if approved, would be implemented in 2010.
Water authorities are also looking to implement a 2% tax on water starting 2010, which would be the equivalent of 0.50 pesos (about 4 US cents) per liter, the report said.
If approved, the tax would mean an additional 1bn pesos/y for water consumption in the city, according to Aguirre.
The money would be used to improve hydraulic infrastructure, drainage systems, wastewater treatment and water reuse systems, as well as soil conservation and the installation of improved water meters, he said.
Spring price hike
As well as the new tariff system, SACM will increase water rates by around 10% during the February-May period to reduce water consumption, the report said.
While the demand for water during these months is 20% higher than during the rest of the year, the drought in the area means there will be less water available, according to Aguirre.
The utility hopes that the increased rates will reduce the average daily water use of each resident from 307l/d to around 200l/d, the report said.
Source: BNamericas.com [subscription site], 26 Nov 2009