Water – Essential Commodity But At What Price?

Water is a precious commodity in the Region of Murcia.  Almost every year the CHS (part of the National Government Rivers Authority) issue drought orders for Murcia and water has to be imported from the neighbouring Region of Castilla la Mancha through the Tajo-Segura supply canal.

Water is not only a precious commodity from an ecological and agricultural point of view, but it can also prove to be an expensive surprise for home owners if water consumption increases. This can be due to many reasons – some are unavoidable and can be expected such as:

* increased seasonal use

* family or guests visiting

* filling and topping up swimming pools and Jacuzzis

* patio/terrace cleaning etc  

Other reasons that can be avoided require a little vigilance and planning, such as:

* leaks in the supply – this can be inside the property or in the under-build and include pipes, taps, cisterns etc

* leaks in swimming pools and associated pipework (particularly those with automatic fillers)

*taps left on

*major pipe bursts

*water being stolen

*automatic watering systems malfunctioning etc. 

While the above problems can be spotted when in residence, bigger leaks (and bills) may occur when a property is vacant for a period of time. 

The water companies recommend that if possible the water supply is turned off at the meter, if a property is left vacant. It should also be remembered that Home Insurance does not always cover loss of water. In some cases insurance companies have settled claims for 100/200€ to repair pipework and water damage, but refused to pay for water (sometimes in the hundreds or thousands of euros) lost as a result of the escape.

It is strongly advisable to check the Aqualia invoice, normally issued every two months, so that any excessive cost can be clearly identified and, if necessary, reported to Aqualia, quoting the Contract number (DATOS DEL CONTRATO, found on the top right-hand corner of the invoice).

Regular previous and present meter reading may highlight unpleasant discrepancies. This information is found below the name and address of the customer, under the heading ‘Facturación (followed by the months, eg Septiembre-Octubre 2020), which means ‘Invoice for ….). The most important details are:

Número contador (meter number)

Lectura anterior (previous reading) – fecha (date)

Lectura actual (present reading) – fecha (date) 

Consumo (usage) – tipo (type) – this can be: REAL (metered) or ESTIMADO (estimated)

Días (days)

The invoice cost is made up of three totals:

Consumo De Agua (Water Usage)

Basura (refuse collection), which was omitted in the May/June and July/August invoice to assist with water payments and is now re-instated in instalments.

Canon Saneamiento (taxes, not set by Aqualia)

Silvana wishes you a Happy, Healthy and water-use-conscious 2021.

She can be contacted on silvanaeb@mazarron.es