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Catalan Cities Choose Remunicipalisation

The region of Catalonia (Spain) and its independence vote have been making the headlines recently –but other interesting developments in the field of water management are happening in the region.

In March 2017, several Catalan municipalities have teamed up to create a Catalan association for public water management, whose aim will be to provide support to municipalities willing to switch to the public management of water. This move set the scene for further developments that have brought back public water management to two major Catalan cities, Terrassa and Girona. 

At be beginning of September, the City Council of Terrassa approved the remunicipalisation of its water supply after the end of a 75-year concession contract. The remunicipalisation process was first driven by social movements but then counted with the strong support of the mayor, Jordi Ballart, who fully supported the cause.

Contrary to Terrassa, the return into public hands of the water utility of Girona did not go through a political process but was ordered by a court. The company Agissa was handed over to public management after Spanish anti-corruption authorities found evidence that the company management had misappropriated over 15 million euros.