We know health experts advise drinking lots of water when it’s hot, but those living in Argentina’s capital and Gran Buenos Aires might want to reevaluate their water consumption this summer because the Government just approved an average water tariff increase of 300 per cent.
The increases range between 216.6 and 375 per cent and will affect users of potable water services (read: anyone who pays for water) in 18 municipalities in and around the City of Buenos Aires. So, for those of you living in Almirante Brown, Avellaneda, Esteban Echeverría, Ezeiza, Hurlingham, Ituzaingó, La Matanza, Lanús, Lomas de Zamora, Morón, Quilmes, San Fernando, San Isidro, San Martín, Tres de Febrero, Tigre, Vicente López and Escobar, water’s about to get a lot more expensive.
The Chamber of the National Court of Claims upheld a first instance judgement given by Judge Pablo Cayssials on the tariff increases. The judge dismissed arguments filed against the changes by the Association for the Defence of Users and Consumers (ADUC).
The ADUC had petitioned through the judicial court for a precautionary measure to be put in place to curb the tariff changes until a series of steps were fulfilled, which, according to its presentation, had been omitted in the process of establishing the increases.
Confirming the rejection of the precautionary measure, chamber members José Luis López Castiñeira, Luis Márquez y María Caputi offered: “The illegitimacy and arbitrariness of the disputed provision are not clearly evident.”
“The breach of the constitutional rights of users and consumers alleged by the appellant cannot be discerned,” they added. They also argued that the Associations of Consumers and Users were involved in making the changes happen.
The ADUC, however, explained in the arguments that, beyond preliminary participation, the public hearing that the law states should be carried out whenever a modification of tariffs for public services are proposed was in fact never carried out.
Many will be hoping that the ADUC has not given up its fight for now because a 300 percent increase in water bills would be pretty hard to swallow, particularly at this time of year.