Despite most water resource indicators being on red alert because of a drought; despite most reservoirs in Spain losing water; and despite a mostly dry climate in Spain, water bills are among the lowest in Europe. They’re actually the second lowest in the EU.
According to the Spanish Economic Papers report, published by Funcas, the price of a cubic metre of water in Spain is 35.3% cheaper than the European average. This is somewhat surprising given that Spain’s dry climate hardly favours a cheap water supply.
The cheap price of water in Spain is much lower than other utilities, particularly energy supplies, where prices are high. In Spain, consumers pay €2.18 per cubic metre for water, a much lower figure than in some European countries. For example, in Denmark a cubic metre costs €7.32 and in Finland, €4.40.
The Funcas report also looks at the affordability of water bills and finds that the Spanish along with the Italians have the most affordable.
However, once the focus moves to other bills, such as gas or electricity, the trend in Spain changes dramatically. Spaniards pay the third highest costs in Europe for these bills, behind Denmark and Portugal.
Experts explain that the consumer price of water has nothing to do with water management, but is based on criteria such as access and availability of water resources. Prices vary according to altitude or rainfall. Variations in the price also depend on location, the number of homes in an area, and the number of official residents.