How water supply in Germany would be affected by CETA, TTIP and TiSA

Note: The summary below is about the potential effects of the currently prepared EU trade/investment agreements CETA, TTIP and TiSA in regards to public water supply. The summary shows the results of a survey relating to the provisions on water supply, sanitation and wastewaster disposal services in these agreements. The survey is based on papers that have been officially published by the EU Commission as well as a continuous and in-depth investigation beginning in 2013. The survey is being complemented by five sheets relating to technical basics and offering reading aid for the texts and annexes of the agreements. The survey was accompanied by a close and continuous exchange with academical and institutional experts including the BDEW German Association of Energy and Water Industries. The summary below is focussed only on water supply and leaves out sanitation and wastewater disposal services. Explanations on technical terms can be found in the survey.Due to given capacity this survey is only available in German on the website of Stadtwerke Karlsruhe. It is noted that the following summary represents the view of Stadtwerke Karlsruhe and that mistakes cannot be ruled out. It is meant to be a contribution to an objective debate and increased understanding of the agreements regarding water supply. In regards to TiSA no conclusions can be drawn as no current information is available. Non-commercial use of the summary is permitted as long as the source is quoted and a This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The pdf file of the summary


How the new Greek Super-Fund affects water services

With this press release, SaveGreekWater attempts to investigate the consequences of the to-be-approved multi bill, on the Greek water services EYATH and EYDAP.

As John Locke, one of the Enlightenment founders, so our initiative believes that “the actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts”. After addressing this quote to those in power as well as to those who should control them, we consider it our duty that one of our “actions” should be to inform our fellow citizens.

In an effort to pierce through the uproar of misleading screaming voices and shifting of focus which constitute nowadays the greek “public sphere”, with this press release, we attempt to investigate the consequences of the to-be-approved multi bill, on the Greek water services since EYATH and EYDAP are both mentioned in an article in appendix D of the bill which establishes, among others, a “Super-Fund”, entitled “Hellenic Company of Assets and Participations S.A. (HCAP).

In the draft of the bill (Article 198), EYATH and EYDAP appear among those publicly controlled companies which will be transferred in their entirety to EDHS (“Company of Public Paticipations S.A.”) within “a next period of time”, with EDHS being founded at the same bill and described as one of the subsidiaries of the new “Super- Fund”.


Victory against big hydro in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Vrbas canyon (c) ETNAR

After a ten-year wait, citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina are celebrating after plans for two large hydro power plants in the north of the country were quietly cancelled – allowing the Vrbas River and its nature to flow untrammeled.

There has been mass public opposition and protests against the project since the government of the Republika Srpska (RS) administrative entity signed concession agreements with the company HES Vrbas for the plants in 2004.

Friends of the Earth Bosnia & Herzegovina /Center for Environment first heard about plans for two large hydro dams a short distance upstream of the regional capital city of Banja Luka in October 2004, after they appeared on the agenda of the RS government.

Yet the plans were out of date, dating from the 1990s, with no impact assessment on the local environment, resources, or tourism industry – despite being situated in a planned protected area.

A Coalition for Vrbas River Protection quickly sprang up comprising around 30 local NGOs, and they rallied more than 5,500 people to sign a petition against the hydro plans, but their words fell on deaf ears.

Read more on the website of Friends of Earth Europe

Window of opportunity for public water in Catalonia

The water management situation in the region of Catalonia, Spain is catastrophic. The omnipresence of the private water sector is creating hugely negative impacts at the economic, social and environmental levels. As a result, Catalan municipalities are being swept by the wave of water remunicipalisation that is taking place across the globe, and the drive to recover public management of water systems is gaining force.

The Catalan quasi-monopoly in water

The privatisation of water services today affects roughly 84% of the population of Catalonia, through either mixed corporations or fully private companies. This situation is quite unique given that, to the contrary, the great majority of water systems are under public control globally. Furthermore, the region’s water management landscape has two distinctive characteristics.

First, private companies are concentrated in medium-sized and large population centres. Although more than half of Catalan municipalities have public water services (507 compared to 437 where these services are privatised), they only represent 16% of the population. We are therefore talking about small municipalities, where it is hard to benefit from economies of scale and where the return on investments is lower than in the bigger cities where private companies can expect to make profits.

Second, a handful of companies share the water market. For example, 90% of municipalities with private water management are served by companies from the Aigües de Barcelona group that operates in 24 countries – also known as AGBAR and a subsidiary of the French water multinational Suez. Under the AGBAR umbrella we find companies such as the Societat General d’Aigües de Barcelona (SGAB), SOREA, CASSA, Aigües de Catalunya, Mina Pública de Terrassa, Aigües de Girona, Aigües de Tarragona and many more. It is worth noting that AGBAR has managed water in the city of Barcelona since 1867, with the latest change taking place in 2012 when a mixed company was created, under 85% private and 15% public control.

Read more on the website of TransNational Institute

Decision of the Athens Court against HRADF

Thessaloniki, 15 july 2014.

Catapult against HRADF (Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund) is the decision of the Athens Court on the injunction application asked by "Citizens Union for the Water", a secondary level Union of Thessaloniki Water Cooperatives, set up by the Initiative K136, to claim the 51% stake in EYATh in the name of the citizens of Thessaloniki.

Three times we asked - via the lawful route - information on the process and criteria by which the HRADF excluded the "Citizens Union for the Water" from the second phase of the tender for the privatization of 51% of EYATh. HRADF flatly refused to give any information or data, arguing that it is "private company" and is not required to give anything. The third time, the Union appealed to the Court of Athens for injunctive relief.

We currently publish this decision by which the Court of Athens requires HRADF give to the Citizens Union for the Water all the requested data, rejecting the complaints on the company's "private law".