Fixed tariffs for water, sanitation and urban waste for non-household customers have been exempted in the city of Porto, as approved by Porto City Hall last April. This was pointed as an example by the United Nations (UN), as an innovative measure against Covid-19, in the framework of a policy brief recommended to cities the world over.
The document is titled "COVID-19 in an Urban World" and it reads: "The remarkable growth of cities in recent decades has intensified many of humanity's most pressing challenges. It has also presented many of our greatest opportunities to protect people, prosperity and planet. COVID-19 has laid bare - and indeed heightened - both these challenges and these opportunities."
The chapter regarding "Innovative Policies and Solutions for Equitable Protection Against and Recovery from Covid-19 in Urban Settings" highlights Porto as a best example on "Measures currently implemented to support the access and delivery of basic services" at local level, namely "Partial exemption on water, sanitation and urban waste tariffs".
The Municipality of Porto, via the municipal company Águas do Porto applied tariff exemptions to water availability, sanitation and urban waste, between 1st April and 30th June.
The United Nations also highlight best practices by four other municipalities in Portugal: Braga, Lisbon, Sintra and Vila Nova de Famalicão.