PALMA City Council yesterday approved the municipal water board EMAYA's petition to increase water rates in Palma. The chairwoman of EMAYA, Maria Crespo, said that the instalment of the new desalination plants has left the water board will little choice but to increase the water rates in order to cover rising costs. According to Crespo, EMAYA's 435 million pesetas in profit last year has been used to cover the extra costs of having to purchase more water for Palma in January and in order to meet the costs of operating the desalination plants and buying a set amount of water every year for six years, therefore rates are to be increased. EMAYA will have to spend 347 million pesetas on operating the desalination plants per year and a further 564 million on buying eight cubic hectometres of water each year. Crespo said that the mobile desalination units will cost EMAYA just under 1'000 million pesetas a year and by putting the rates up, EMAYA will be able to raise 960 million pesetas. The water rate increases have however come under fire. The Greens accused the water board of bad management and, that by everybody having their rates increased, no consideration is being given to those consumers who are careful about the water they use.

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