24 May 2019
More than 20 Regulatory Authorities for water and wastewater services met for the 18th General Assembly of WAREG, the Association of European Water Regulators, hosted by the National Commission for Energy Control and Prices of Lithuania (NCC) in Vilnius.
A report was presented on the role of economic regulators in addressing the capital investment challenges faced by water and wastewater services utilities, that identified a number of key drivers of investment in water infrastructures in Europe, such as: security, sustainability and resilience of water supply, effective wastewater treatment and compliance with environmental standards, appropriate water quality with respect to EU environmental standards, ageing and/or inadequate infrastructure.
A workshop was organised on the advantages of economic regulation, between WAREG Regulators and the Organisation Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The debate highlighted the rationale of establishing economic regulation at national and regional level, as well as the concrete challenges faced by Regulators in exercising their powers and possible trends in the development of economic regulation in European countries.
The workshop aimed at promoting in-depth discussion on pressing national issues for regulatory entities, and was organized around 3 sessions based on national experiences in Europe:
For the first time, WAREG regulators convened to point out the benefits of economic regulation, in terms of stability of rules, bankability of investment plans, transparency of information on quality of services, social affordability of tariffs and consumer protection.
According to WAREG President, Professor Andrea Guerrini, “Today’s workshop outlined the need for a contingent approach to regulation, as adapting regulatory tools and organizational structures to each country context is required. WAREG is currently working on a set of guidelines that indicate the criteria for designing the best regulation model for each context at an international level. The ‘one size fits al’ logic have to be abandoned, at least when dealing with the regulation of the water service”.
Also, during the General Assembly it was approved 3 Year Strategic Plan 2020-2022 of WAREG.