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Public water supply, urban wastewater management and municipal waste management are public services essential to the well-being, public health and collective security of the populations and economic activities, as well as to environment protection.

These services must respect the principles of universal access, uninterrupted and high quality of service and efficient and affordable prices.

The Portuguese Water and Waste Services Regulation Authority (ERSAR) aims to:

- Ensure the protection of the water and waste sector users, always trying to avoid abuses resultant from the exclusive rights, focusing on the control of the quality of the services provided and supervising the tariffs charged to the end-users;

- Ensure equal and clear conditions in the access to the water and waste services and the operation of these services. This principle also applies to all the contracts signed;

- Reinforce the right to general information about the sector and about each operator.