Palermo (Acea): ‘Investments and tariffs must go hand in hand’

”Water is development and water management is an industrial sector. Most of the people, 50% do not realize that there is industry behind the water. The big difference compared to Europe testifies that there are two problems: the low level of investments, which is half compared to Europe. According to us, we consume a lot of water per individual, 50% more than in many other countries. This is partly the result of the level of tariffs which is not so high”. This was underlined by the CEO of Acea, Fabrizio Palermo, on the occasion of the ‘Aquae World Water Day 2023’ conference.

”Of course this is a very delicate issue -Palermo continues- but it should lead us to reflect. If we want to invest in the country, we need an important plan. The government is moving in this direction. We moved on Rome and launched an important plan on Peschiera, which is the largest aqueduct that carries 70% of the water to the capital. There will be a major expansion program and these investments are bearing fruit. Today Rome has loss rates on the line, much lower than the European average. It is not true that water is lost in Rome, it is a myth that needs to be debunked. Acea has invested in the network for many years and today it leads us to excellent results.

”In short, there is a corporate structure issue, because there are few industrial managers -Palermo explains- there are many Municipalities that operate economically and with very low investments. There is a theme of the overall size of the investments that must rise, both extraordinary and ordinary with the use of new technologies that are not enough today, for the identification of losses. Then there is a financial issue, or if it is necessary to finance these large investments, we need to reflect on a tariff system that allows operators to reconcile the possibility of recovering these investments”.