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Portugal: Remunicipalisation of water services in Mafra

The Chinese water company BE Water has been working in Mafra for 22 years. Photo: Mafra

The city of Mafra, near to Lisbon, is remunicipalising its water services. After 22 years the local authorities decided to end its agreement with the Chinese Beijing Water Group (Be Water) after the private operator proposed to increase tariffs for drinking water with 25 per cent and the tariffs for waste water treatment with 35 per cent.

Mafra decided to quit with the private water company after an extensive study was conducted which concluded that full municipal management of the water services could reduce tariffs by 5 per cent and improve consumer services. Mafra is the first Portugese town to remunipalise water services. The Chinese Water Group is still active in the Portugal in Ourém, Paredes, Valongo.