Water Bill

I have been working a lot with a company in the water sector in Mexico, and I have attended several conferences on the subject. Throughout last year the buzz was they’re going to start charging by water usage rather than flat rates. Everything agrees that water should be paid for, considering it’s not only valuable to have but also it costs a lot to deliver in potable form.

Here in Mexico City we pay for water by the bimestre, or two-month period. Typically my apartment paid what everyone else in my building, and perhaps my zone, paid, 290 pesos per billing period. That’s like 12 dollars per month. The bill always broke down what actual usage was and then applied a subsidy to it, amounting to the 290.

Now I’ve just seen a bill reflecting the new pricing scheme (which, as far as I can tell, has been either relatively or absolutely unannounced…) For a home that is smaller than mine with fewer people and less daytime occupancy, the Secretaría del Agua de la Ciudad de México wants 790 pesos for a bimestre. Mathing that: 35-40 dollars per month, or a jump of 300 percent over my own bills. Meaning when my apartment’s bill comes we may even expect a higher amount due.

Another determiner in the previous scheme had been that different neighborhoods receive different subsidies, so while the bill I saw no longer had any subsidy applied, perhaps mine will?

Not sure. At any rate, this is the way things go down here. If you want to begin to understand stuff like why interest rates are so high, it’s because instability increases risk.

I’m not saying that I think it’s bad for Mexico to pay first world prices for water if that means in a reasonable span of time water will also be first world-ish. I am mainly surprised that the government can just jack up water tariffs like this with no warning.


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