The mayors of Arcos de Valdevez, Caminha, Paredes de Coura, Ponte de Lima, Valença, Viana do Castelo and Vila Nova de Cerveira are “fed up and tired” of the mistakes Águas do Alto Minho (AdAM) made last year . The seven parishes own 49% of the company, which started operations in January 2020. The remaining 51% belong to Águas de Portugal (AdP).
At the press conference this Thursday, organized by the seven municipalities, José Maria Costa, Mayor of Viana do Castelo, read a statement signed by the mayors. The municipalities demand “that one side is turned into the disappointing life of AdAM, projected into the future, the relationship with people is strengthened and the service provided is qualified”. “No more mistakes, no more promises, no more bills outside of business hours, no more expired payment codes, no more exorbitant amounts, no more unrealistic estimates, no more unanswered phones, no more unpredictable communication,” read José Maria Costa.
Mayors said that at the last meeting with the company, the Chairman of AdAM’s Board of Directors assured municipalities that the most recently issued invoice, to which the infamous “yellow” invoice was added to correct and suspend invoicing, would do so are ultimately influenced by the problems that arise from the aggregation ”. Another guarantee emerged from this meeting: “The next invoice will be issued via a new system that benefits from real measured values and is better able to detect unexpected errors.”
Miguel Alves, Mayor of Caminha, said at the end of the statement that AdAM is guaranteeing “new communication channels” for the residents of the seven communities that are part of the partnership with AdP by recruiting “more human resources”.
What if these errors are not corrected? “If not, we have to take action. I didn’t want to create scenarios about what might happen. There is no other way than to improve the service, ”replied Miguel Alves. In order to meet “the goals” of the partnership with these communities in Alto Minho, AdAM will “change his life”, he said, pointing to a date for this conversion: “The deadline is relatively obvious: the next bill that is already benefiting from its own system and not aggregated. “
Mayors also announced that they will “urgently request a meeting” with the Environment Minister to address “concerns and expectations about the new cycle of AdAM, which should be based on total government engagement” as the company has declared “100 % public “.
In April 2020, billing was suspended after errors were found “affecting 15,000 people,” Lusa said. The regularization of these consumption values began in January. On the other hand, AdAM announced this week that it had “launched a campaign to reduce the water bill for those who follow the electronic bill,” the news agency said.
However, the CDU announced the launch of a campaign “aimed at creating conditions for the company to be reversed” and handing over the management of water and sanitation networks to the communities in the region. “At the press conference, Miguel insisted Alves insisted that the shareholder communities “consider no other plan than fulfilling the management plan”.
By merging the communal water and sanitation supplies of the seven municipalities, an “investment of 271 million in 30 years for the renewal, maintenance and expansion of the infrastructure” of this area was secured.