San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Water Rates Increase An Average 6%

Those living in Costa Rica can expect an average 6% increase in their water bills thanks to a price hike approved recently by the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP).

The National Water and Sewer Institute (AyA) had asked ARESEP for a 35% price hike this year; a 15% increase next year and a 10% increase for 2009, 2010 and 2011, according to a statement from ARESEP.

ARESEP denied the institute these requests, saying it has a hefty financial surplus from 2006 that it should put toward development and operational costs and that it underestimated its income and overestimated its expenses.

ARESEP instead granted an average 6% price increase and restructured AyA’s tariff scale to “encourage the rational use of water, have the least effect possible on low-income families and charge those who consume more water more,” the statement said.

For example, those who consume less than 40 cubic meters monthly will see their bill increase only 3.6%, while those who consume more than this amount will pay 8.5% more, according to the daily La Nación.

The same idea applies to companies.

Those who consume more than 120 cubic meters per month will pay 6.5% more per month, while those who use less than this amount will see their bills go up 3.6%.

These price adjustments were published Sept. 21 in the official government daily La Gaceta and will apply to water consumed begining this month, the statement said.


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