Water supply could end up in private hands – The Post

Water supply could end up in private hands

Consulting firm recommends allowing the privatisation of waterworks

April 10th, 2014 9:59 am| by admin

The consulting firm Deloitte has recommended to parliament that it consider allowing private companies to invest in the Danish waterworks.

“Deloitte finds no reason to conclude that it would be beneficial to prevent private commercial players from investing in Danish water companies,” it writes in its report.

A committee with members of parliament will discuss the report at a meeting today.

Representatives from DANVA, the Danish Water and Wastewater Association, which represents about 120 water treatment facilities, will also be in attendance

DANVA head, Carl Emil Larsen, is against the idea. “My message to the committee will be that nothing good will come from privatising the water supply,”  he said to DR Nyheder.

Jobs could be lost
Larsen said that privatisation would put too much focus on making money.

“In Denmark, the tradition is to manage the water supply and wastewater in a manner which takes the environment and supply security into account, not profit, which will be the primary concern of investors,” said Larsen.

Privatisation of water companies in other countries has not led to lower water prices for consumers, according to Larsen. He cited several examples where the price of water actually increased.

“In Berlin, they tried to work with a private energy company, but the city just bought all of the rights back because the prices were too high,” he said.

He also highlighted that Danish water rights could end up in foreign hands, as recently happened with DONG and Nets.

READ MORE: DONG seals yet another British investment

“There are simply no Danish companies that have the capacity to buy the rights,” Larsen said.

Larsen warned that privatising waterworks could result in the loss of jobs in Denmark.