APE contributes to the EESC' 'Blue Deal' initiative
On 27 February 2023, Aqua Publica Europea participated in the first hearing of “Time for a Blue Deal”, an initiative launched by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) that aims to develop a comprehensive policy roadmap to make water a priority at European scale. The roadmap will be built on a series of ‘Opinions’, which the Committee will adopt during 2023 and which will address a wide range of water-related challenges, from water efficiency to investments needs, from tackling water poverty to water diplomacy.
On the occasion of the first hearing, APE was invited to share its views on how to address water affordability. APE’s Executive Director, Milo Fiasconaro, explained that the expenditure for water services are expected to grow due to a combination of generic pressures (e.g., inflation) and water-specific factors (e.g, increasing requirements on water quality, climate change). In this context, ensuring an equitable access to water for all will represent a growing challenge. Fiasconaro argued that addressing this challenge is a common responsibility that requires to step up actions along three main priorities:
- More efficiency in the way we manage water resources. This is a prime responsibility for water utilities, but also for society at large, in particular for agriculture and industry sectors.
- More equitable distribution of costs among water users, in particular through a more consistent application of the ‘Polluter-Pays Principle’.
- More targeted social measures that support vulnerable households in a comprehensive way, as water affordability is not just a ‘water issue’ but a broader social protection with a human right dimension.
APE looks forward to contributing to future hearings and expresses full support to this ambitious and very timely initiative by the EESC.