Economic regulation of water and wastewater services encompasses a wide range of institutional frameworks and market conditions that differ from country to country in Europe and Worldwide.
In the European Union (EU) there has been a significant evolution towards the rationalization of the sector and the harmonization of practices and principles, by establishing a general framework for common action in water policy, with the aim to protect water resources and promote sustainable and efficient use of water.
Despite substantial differences, European countries are facing similar challenges to their water and wastewater systems, which require new investment due to the deterioration of physical assets, security and quality of drinking water supply, universal access to water, affordability, environmental sustainability and many other factors.
A need to reinforce technical and institutional dialogue among institutions and stakeholders is more and more necessary, in order to balance needs and interests of both customers and industry, without harming the environment and future generations. Innovation and investment can improve accessibility and quality levels of water supply, however any solution offered should aim for cost-efficiency and minimize the potential economic impact on customers.