Broken investments, high payments

Broken investments, high payments

Opacity in the sector and investments to do
31 March 2014

19.000 million euros, the amount of investments provided for the period 2007-2015 to reach a good level of sanitation of residual waters in Spain, and reach an adequate level of water quality, biodiversity and associated ecosystems. This is associated with the compliance of the Water Framework Directive 91/271/CEE of the European Union, which establishes maximum levels of contamination of sewage. 

Investments done to reach this objective are going to be analysed. In the period 2007-2011, water companies invested a 12,7% of their income for water supply in investments for supply, whereas the investment according to income for water treatment for sanitation was of 24% (approximately 2.000 M€ for each service). Moreover, regarding Ministry figures, the quantity rises to 2.156 M€, only an 11% of predicted.

Leaving aside numbers, it could be asked if the percentage of investment done by the companies really means a big effort, or they could do more. But, the really important matter is that we do not comply with the Water Framework Directive. And people may think: and what? Does that really matter? Well, not complying with the Directive is leading to millions in fine payments. 900.000€ a day is what we are paying for not complying with the Directive, which means having only an 84% of good quality in water treatment (2010). And it might be that this level has not experienced an increase since then, because for some reason has the Ministry stopped publishing official figures. To make matters worse, Spain has two new processes open in administrative proceedings, and there is a third in study phase. So, fines for not complying with what was agreed can raise significantly.

Please, let’s do things the right way. And if expected investments are not reached due to the bad economic situation we are living, at least publish figures. Be transparent. Or is it of interest to hide them? 

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