29th General Assembly of WAREG – Press Release

29th General Assembly 

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29th General Assembly 

September 19, 2023Budva, Montenegro. How can economic regulators effectively promote a more resilient water sector through tariffs for water utilities? What could be the possible impacts on water customers’ bills of the ongoing reform of the EU wastewater treatment Directive? How can water regulators ensure the highest quality of water services in EU and EU candidate countries?

Applying more stringent targets to local utilities in the EU for a greener and more climate-neutral wastewater treatment sector, benchmarking the levels of water losses across European countries, and reforming tariffs in EU candidate countries were the key topics addressed by European water regulators at the 29th WAREG General Assembly.

“WAREG is an invaluable forum to strengthen the regulatory competencies of its Members. Together, we can pave the way to a more efficient use of water infrastructures and of water resources in the Western Balkans and in Europe” said Branislav Prelevic REGAGEN Chair.

Today, 27 water regulators members of WAREG met in Budva for their 29th General Assembly, hosted by the Energy and Water Regulatory Agency of Montenegro (REGAGEN). WAREG is the Association of European Water Regulators based in Milan and in Brussels, established in 2014 to foster cooperation and exchange of expertise.

“This General Assembly further fortifies our joint endeavours to achieve higher quality drinking water and wastewater services for European citizens” said Andrea Guerrini, Commissioner in the Italian Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks and Environment (ARERA) and WAREG President.

WAREG regulators approved the Report on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of water utilities in Europe, led by Ivaylo Kastchiev, Director at the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission of Bulgaria and WAREG Vice-President. A benchmarking of water losses in the EU will be officially presented at the 3rd European Forum on the Regulation of Water Services (EFRWS) at the end of this year.

Water tariffs set by WAREG regulators will have to incorporate higher costs deriving from the more stringent EU targets on Urban Wastewater treatment. A quantification of tariff impacts will also be disclosed in a study conducted by the Portuguese regulator (ERSAR) at the 3rd EFRWS, organised by WAREG on 6 December 2023, in Brussels, (https://www.wareg.org/efrws/efrws-2023/).

The regulators of Albania, Italy and Portugal presented their joint analysis of the reform of the Georgian water sector was reviewed from an economic perspective. WAREG aims to strengthen regional dialogue and approximation to EU standards in EU (potential) candidate countries through the Knowledge Exchange Programme (KEP) of the European Central Initiative and funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.