Politics & Laws

Anti-Trust Autho rities Zoom In On Water Tariffs

In Germany, it is easy to score political points with water. Anti-trust authorities are a good means to this end and have already brought about price reductions by force. Now the BDEW is taking action

The 9th Annual Water Management Conference of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW; www.bdew.de) took place in Berlin on 25th and 26th October.

An important item on the agenda was the discussion about the current and future challenges presented to the industry by European, federal, and regional authorities. Special focus was drawn on the benefits of a proposed EU Concessions Directive and on the pros and cons of saving water in Germany in times of climate change.

There was also much controversy over a recent ruling by the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe which approved anti-trust investigations of water tariffs. Company and association representatives as well as high-ranking European Commission officials were asked to give their opinion.

Thomas Freiherr von Fritsch, head of the regional regulation and water anti-trust authority of the Ministry of Economy of Baden-Württemberg, explained the court decision in detail. Manfred Eisenhut from the Austrian Gas and Water Association (ÖVGW) was among the foreign observers who were following the debate.

(Source: aqua press Int. 4/2010, Mag. Christof Hahn)

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