Four new members join APE to promote public water management in Europe

Aqua Publica Europea, the European association of public water operators, has started this new year with four new members, thus confirming the growing trend towards the management of water services by an accountable and efficient public sector. The continuous growth of the association also attests to the accomplishments achieved by our very young association since its foundation in 2009.

On the 20th of January 2017, the Management Board of Aqua Publica Europea, the European association of water operators working to promote public water management, welcomed four new members: Budapest Waterworks (Hungary), EMASESA (Sevilla, Spain), Águas de Gaia (Portugal) and EYDAP (Athens, Greece). With these new members, Aqua Publica Europea now spans over 9 countries, with its members directly serving 60 million citizens in Europe.

The four new members include two companies that have historically been under public ownership (Sevilla and Aguas de Gaia), a remunicipalised operator (Budapest Waterworks) and an operator (EYDAP) that is currently being put under pressure to sell its assets under the Troika’s adjustment programme for Greece. These new members, with different backgrounds and operating in diverse contexts, confirm APE’s twofold commitment: gathering public operators from all over Europe to find solutions to the common environmental and societal challenges, and supporting organisations that are engaged in ensuring that the management of water services remain in public hands.

The Management Board meeting that welcomed the new members was hosted by Viveraqua, the consortium of public water operators of the Veneto region. The meeting also saw the launch of a new Horizon 2020 project steered by Aqua Publica Europea members. This project, which will benefit from 4 million euros of EU funding, aims at developing innovative solutions for smart meters based on open standards through a pre-competitive public procurement (PCP). Running for four years, the project exemplifies how the public sector aims to stimulate research and market competition so as to improve the service delivered and the price paid by the final user.