Sevilla’s water bills set to surge

Drought takes its toll on water rates

Water rates. Credit: Gts/

According to local authorities, the effects of the ongoing drought in Sevilla have left them with no choice but to increase water bills from 15 to 18 per cent.

On Wednesday, January 31, the City Council of Sevilla, led by Mayor Jose Luis Sanz from the Popular Party (PP), sanctioned a significant hike in water rates.

This decision, made with the abstention of the Socialist Party (PSOE), will see an increase of between 15 and 18 per cent for households based on their consumption efficiency.

This move aims to tackle the pressing drought issue by funding necessary investments for the metropolitan water supplier, Emasesa, which serves Sevilla and eleven other municipalities.

A response to drought

The adjustment in water pricing will affect homes based on their water usage, categorising it as efficient or standard. Efficient consumption, defined as up to 90 litres per person per day, will witness a 15 per cent increase over two years.

Thus, efficient domestic consumption – up to 90 litres – will be subject to an increase of 7.5 per cent in 2024 and the same percentage in 2025. This translates, according to De la Rosa’s calculations, into 1.15 euros more per month.

For standard consumption, up to 110 litres, the rise is set at 18 per cent, translating to £1.85 extra each month. The Emasesa bill is issued quarterly.

These measures are a response to the economic impact of increased savings and the essential investments needed to combat the drought conditions facing the region.

Solidarity and responsibility

Carmen Fuentes, a councillor from the PSOE, framed the party’s abstention as an act of ‘responsibility’ and ‘solidarity’ with the municipalities reliant on Emasesa’s water supply.

She highlighted the communal need to support investments that ensure the provision of quality drinking water. This stance underscores the wider recognition of climate change’s impact and the necessity for metropolitan-wide cooperation to address its challenges.

Beyond domestic impact

The rate adjustments extend beyond domestic users, with industrial, commercial, and tourist sectors facing steeper increases.

This strategy aims to balance the financial load, particularly targeting hotels and tourist apartments with a 40 per cent hike over two years due to their higher per capita consumption.

Additionally, the council has expanded its social bonus scheme, now extending support to 10,000 families, up from 8,000, to help those particularly vulnerable to these changes.

These measures, although tough, are deemed essential by city officials to navigate the critical situation posed by the ongoing drought and financial deficits.

Emasesa’s policy, advocating that ‘he who saves the least, pays the most,’ reflects a commitment to sustainable water usage.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.