Palma water rates will be going up by nearly four per cent next year EMAYA, the municipal water and sewage board announced yesterday unveiling their budget plans for 2002. However, while water rates are on the rise again in Palma, public bus users, with their mobiles switched off, will enjoy cheaper bus fares. EMT public transport company yesterday unveiled plans to reduce bus fares by as much as 5.42 per cent next year. EMAYA President, Maria Crespo explained that the primary reason for the hike in water rates, accompanied by a 4.57 per cent rise in waste collection rates and a 25.34 per cent rise in sewage rates, is because of the huge financial outlay the water board has made in purchasing selective waste collection material, street cleaning equipment and improving the condition of the drains which has all run over the 500 million peseta mark. Crespo confidently proclaimed Palma as the “selective waste pioneers in Spain” adding that “Palma has not been without water for a single day, despite the crippling drought.” She said that collecting and treating Palma's waste has not come cheap either and accused the local government of failing to have honoured its part of the deal by neither improving the existing sewage plant nor building “much needed” new ones. “Having to make the best of what we've got, adds to the cost of the operation,” she added. For the moment however, water rates will not be increased, pending the rate hike approval by the government's price commission gives the green light to the rise which was approved last July.