Comparison of water supplies and sanitation systems

Vienna, December 2018

In recent decades, there has been frequent discussion of the “correct” way to organise and manage municipal water supply and sanitation. This discussion has been supplemented by a number of scientific studies and various political initiatives (e.g. regarding competition and procurement law).

Around fifteen years ago, a comparison of water management systems in Europe was produced by Schönbäck et al. (2003), investigating municipal water supply and sanitation systems using a variety of criteria and indicators.

Since this study, there have been developments both with regards to further market liberalisation and privatisation as well as a rise in re-municipalising public utilities as part of public infrastructure.

The current study also presents a comprehensive comparison of six selected Europe an systems (Germany, England/Wales, France, Austria, Portugal and Hungary). Its purpose is to analyse water management systems and address the questions of whether one particular system for organising these systems should be favoured over any other in order to improve sustainability (from an environmental, economic and social standpoint) and, if so, which criteria or indicators should form the basis of such a policy.


Analysis of the difficulties accessing water encountered by households in arrears on their water bills in France


Analysis of the difficulties accessing water encountered by households in arrears on their water bills and perceptions of the quality of the water companies’ management of these households in France

Based on complaints registered on the Coordination Eau Ile de France and Fondation France Libertés water supply disconnections and disconnection threats complaints platform over the period 2014 to March 2017.

February 2018



Dams and hydropower in Bosnia and Herzegovina

In the dominant discourse and public opinion, hydropower must be developed for the energy transition and only a few very large dams and hydropower plants in Amsud, Africa and China have very negative environmental impacts. The European Water Movement questions these assertions through examples from France, Spain and the Balkan region.

The Balkans are the region in Europe where there are currently the most projects of dams and hydropower plants.


FAMA 2018: Report of the self-organized activities

The European Water Movement and its members contributed to the self-organised sessions of the FAMA, on March 17 and 18.

In particular the European Water Movement was involved in four sessions: three co-organised by the EWM and one organised by a member of the European Water Movement (CICMA) and its local partners, in collaboration with the EWM.