Palma.— The ruling Partido Popular (PP) on Binissalem town council is finalising its proposals for water supply privatisation due to be tabled before opposition parties before the end of the month. The PP has arranged for all necessary technical reports to be prepared before a bid goes out to public tender, with a view to having a private management service in place at the start of next year.

The bid winner will provide 2.5 million euros, interest free, to the town council which will have to be returned in staged payments over the contract period of the next 25 years. The operator keeps any profits. The privatisation of the water service will mean an increase in charges to the public, but until the bidder is selected, tariffs won't be fine-tuned.

Mayor Jeroni Salom acknowledged yesterday: “The change in the water supply system will mean changes in charges, but nearly all town councils are looking to farm out water supply management to private companies now.” The Mayor claimed that Binissalem has been one of the municipalities with the lowest water charges on Majorca. He said that new tariffs will aim to reward those who use least water, and penalise those who use excessive amounts.

The Mayor of Binissalem explained that the privatisation of the water service will mean an injection of credit of 2.5 million euros for the town council. He said that at the moment it was “virtually impossible” to obtain credit from banking organisations.

The company which is awarded the service contract will have to assume the network's maintenance costs, the wells, pumps and meters, and take responsibility for meter readings.

At a time when the Balearic Environment ministry has reported that natural water resources on Majorca have fallen by 6 percent within the spaceof a year, responsible use is being urged from both residential and commercial users. The ministry is urging local authorities around the Balearics to reward low consumers in tariff arrangements.

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