Utilitalia’s ‘pact for water’ signed by Gruppo Cap

Initiative that aims to carry out every useful action in support of national environmental and resource protection policies

In a crisis context aggravated by the effects of climate change, the excellences of the Italian water industry associated with Utilitalia (which represents the managers who provide water services to 80% of the population) are teaming up to put their skills at the service of the country and industrial capabilities. Cap Group is among the signatories of the ‘water pact’, an initiative that aims to carry out every useful action in support of national environmental and resource protection policies, resilience of networks and supply systems, to guarantee citizens universality and quality of the services offered and management up to future challenges.

“The current climate crisis – states Alessandro Russo, CEO of Gruppo Cap – requires water service managers to increase investments and a greater rate of innovation and skills. The objective must be to continue to guarantee citizens a service of high quality. The entire system needs to be questioned, even where management is currently efficient. It is time to open up to new perspectives. From the Galli law of 1994, but also from the regional law of Lombardy of December 2003, the world has changed. Today the priorities are investments in the mitigation of climate change, in the fight against global warming, in the resilience of our territories and in the circular economy”.

“These are epochal challenges – continues Russo – which can be met thanks to vertical and horizontal growth mechanisms capable of responding to the challenges of reducing fragmentation and widening the industrial perimeter. Gruppo Cap has already started a virtuous path by promoting models of simplification and aggregation of the market and which, to date, can further express their potential in the perspective of further strengthening of industrial synergies, economies of scale and aggregations”.

The first companies to have signed the ‘water pact’ are: A2A, Acinque, Acqua Novara Vco, Acquedotto Lucano, Acquedotto Pugliese, Amap, Ascopiave, Gruppo Cap, Cva, Hera, Iren, Mm, Nuove Acque, Publiacqua, Romagna Acque, Smat, Suez, Gruppo Tea and Viveracqua.

“The companies that have operated and made the growth of the sector possible in recent years – explains Filippo Brandolini, president of Utilitalia – are committed to taking a step forward to guarantee investments adequate to the challenges of climate change and ask the government to accompany this path, fundamental so that even territories without an integrated manager can grow”.

From 2012 to today, investments in the sector have increased by 227%, reaching 4 billion per year and an average of 56 euros per inhabitant. But the gap with the European average of 82 euros per year per inhabitant (which rises up to 100 euros in the most virtuous countries) remains large, especially in territories in which industrial entities do not operate: in municipal economic management, which still involves 1,519 municipalities and 8 million citizens, continue to invest on average only 8 euros per year.

In this context, Utilitalia and its associated companies highlight that, in order to deploy the full effectiveness of the Pact, the companies’ commitment must be accompanied by 4 reform actions aimed at reducing fragmentation, introducing management verification parameters, industrial consolidation of the sector and an integrated approach between the different uses of water.

1- Overcome economic management: complete the immediate transfer of functions to the Regions and guarantee their maintenance for the entire duration of the assignment; companies undertake to intervene to support territories not yet managed at an industrial level.

2- Strengthen management capabilities: introduce a clear process of periodic verification of the quality and efficiency of management and the ability to finance and implement interventions, based on the Arera parameters; companies undertake to make their skills available to institutions and managers to guarantee quality services to citizens.

3- Promote aggregations: facilitate aggregation processes between companies by focusing on the optimal management of water resources; companies undertake to consolidate industrial and management capabilities to raise the overall level of investments and quality of service.

4- Support an integrated approach: enable the industrial management of SII companies, in coordination with other sectors, up to the infrastructures serving the different uses of the resource, from agriculture to industry; the companies undertake to create and strengthen the infrastructures necessary for the reuse of water, the sustainable management of rainwater, the recovery of energy and materials, urban drainage and multiple-use reservoirs.