WG1: water access, social tarification and assets management

Leader: Jacques Tcheng, Eaux de Grenoble

Co Leader: Cedric Prevedello, Aquawal
Co Leader: Federico Feltri, CAP/Amiacque

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General objectives

The overall objective of this Working Group is to defend the principle that water, which is a public and common good, is accessible to all at a reasonable price and is managed transparently.
The aims of the Group are:

  • To defend water as a public good. Water must be managed in a transparent way, at both user and operator levels, and the possibility of introducing regulation of public water services must exist at a higher level than that of the operators;
  • To understand water-pricing methods, to compare them, and to propose socially acceptable prices for all, in a sustainable way for users, operators and public authorities.

Past Activities
The Group’s activities began in collegial style with a meeting held in Milan on 13 December 2013. This meeting saw the beginning of concrete exchanges and reflections on existing tarifications applied in the various services and countries (Italy, Belgium, Switzerland and France) represented at the meeting. These exchanges should continue in order to map and compare methods used to structure tariffs in relation to the following points:

  • The accounting systems adopted by different services;
  • Methods of pricing, tariff structures, and the constituent elements of a water bill;
  • What water pays;
  • The "social" approach to pricing;

Programmed actions

• Status of the tarifications:
Following the submission of a new questionnaire on tarification, the Working Group Co-pilot will centralise the responses from the Group members’ respective countries (Switzerland will be regrouped with France), and members will continue to work on it together before the next common session.

• Short term:

  • A presentation of the report, European Environmental Agency No. 16/2013, “Assessment of cost recovery through water pricing" will be given. This will open the debate with the aim of proposing publication of a position paper on the subject (points of agreement or disagreement).
  • A position will also be proposed regarding the necessity of introducing regulation of water public services and water pricing at a higher level than the operators.

• In the longer term, reflections will be conducted and proposals on:

  • Full cost recovery;
  • Social pricing.