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The need for investments in the water sector

29 April 2016

Yesterday I attended the joint meeting of the working group ‘agriculture and water management’ chaired by MEP Michel Dantin, (part of the intergroup ‘Climate Change, Biodiversity, and Sustainable Development’) and the intergroup on ‘Long-Term Investment and Reindustrialisation’ chaired by MEP Dominique Riquet on the topic ‘The Need for Long-Term Investments in the Water Sector’. 

The Dutch Presidency of the Council of the EU was represented by the Water Director Jan Busstra, who highlighted the necessity of complementary actions at every level of water governance (national, European and global) if we want to meet the future challenges of the water sector.

Mr. Thomas van Gilst, Head of Water Management Division of the European Investment Bank presented the importance of intergenerational equity when dealing with investments in water, stressing that the duration of the loans should match as much as possible the life of the physical water infrastructure to ensure the sustainability of the sector for the future generations. He also emphasised the role played by public authorities in favouring the conditions that allow for investments:

  • Strong, predictable regulation 
  • Good maintenance 
  • Healthy capital markets

Mr. Xavier Leflaive, Water Team leader at the OECD Environment Directorate, delivered a very interesting presentation on how to make the investments in water happen and then how to make the investments successful. Successful investments are those that combine investments in the three ‘I’s: infrastructure, institutions and information. 

The Head of the Water Industry Unit of DG Environment, Matjaž Malgaj, gave the European perspective stressing the importance of the implementation of art.9 of the WFD on the cost recovery and spoke about the necessity to increase investments in water and sanitation services in we want to ensure the same level of quality of service to future generations, being the average renewal rates of water infrastructure still too low in the majority of Member States.

Mr. Pierre Menet, Advisor in the Department for institutional, international and European relations of Caisse des Dépôts gave the investors view on a framework favouring the long-term investments.   

Apart from Mr. Dantin and Mr. Riquet, the vice-President of the EP McGuinness,  MEP Toia, head of the Italian delegation of the Partito Democratico as well as MEP Collin-Langen and MEP Delahaye attended the meeting.


Water matters. EU matters. 

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