Paris water will become 100% public again at the end of 2009

Last Monday, Paris city council announced that water would become 100% public again at the end of 2009. The semi-public company already producing and transporting water will also take in charge the currently privately-run water distribution.

Today, the semi-public company Eau de Paris produces and transports water, but distribution and billing are managed by Veolia and Suez, which share a yearly 180 million euros market. Those two companies‘ contracts will end at the end of 2009. The reform was announced by Paris mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, during his municipal campaign. According to a press release published by the city council, the city undertakes to „stabilise water price in its municipal part“.

„Paris offers the lowest price in Ile-de-France [Paris region], 2.77 euros per cubic meter whereas rates are between 4 and 5 euros per cubic meter in several municipalities in Ile-de-France“, highlights Anne Le Strat, Paris deputy mayor in charge of water, in an interview in Le Parisien. When asked whether this price will be kept stable, Mrs Le Strat answers: „Our commitment to stabilise the municipal part is very clear. But water price also includes sanitation cost, and a share goes to Seine-Normandy Water Agency. We do not have direct responsibility upon those two.“ The deputy mayor of Paris adds that with the new European standards and the „colossal investments undertaken, like the building of 4 new plants, there is a very high pressure on water price.“

The reform of Paris water public service has been put in the hands of Thierry Wahl, former general director in Environment Ministry, who was appointed general director of Eau de Paris the 30th of May. Mr. Wahl will become general director of the new industrial and commercial public undertaking (EPIC) that will be created to be „responsible on the overall water chain, from production to distribution.“

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