Rates will be going up in Palma for those who use most water. | Maite Carles

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You can't keep Emaya out of the news. Regular are the announcements about Palma's municipal services agency: if not removing graffiti, then it is its waste collections or its responsibilities for water supplies. The Emaya president, councillor Neus Truyol, is therefore also never far away from the news, and now, having suggested as much a couple of months ago, she is saying that high-consuming households will have to pay more for their water.

There already is a form of progressive charging for water in Palma, i.e. high consumers pay more, but this is to become more progressive. In addition to households, businesses will also be liable to paying more. At present, the progressive rates apply only to hotels.

What will the new charges be? Truyol could not give any information on this. It has not yet been decided how they will be implemented. But implemented they will be in a drive to cut overall water consumption. This decrease, she said, will be achieved through higher tariffs.

Emaya is also looking at the possibility of introducing individual meters for community buildings. Rather than payment for water being averaged out, it would be on the basis of actual consumption.

Once more, Truyol pointed out that reservoir capacity is down to around 30%. It was 50% a year ago. It is recommended that it doesn't fall below 25%. Emaya intends not drawing any water from the Tramuntana reservoirs from the end of this month, unless it rains heavily. The Aemet meteorology agency suggests that there won't be rainfalls that will increase capacity significantly.

During August, explained Truyol, 15% of Palma's water consumption was from the reservoirs. If supply from them does have to be stopped at the end of the month, the buying-in of desalinated supply will increase: in August this represented 40% of consumption.