Multi-municipal system aggregation approved

Today saw the publication of the decree-laws setting up the multi-municipal water supply and sanitation systems for the North of Portugal, the Central Coast of Portugal and Lisbon and the Tagus Valley and their respective management entities, Águas do Norte, Águas do Centro Litoral and Águas de Lisboa e Vale do Tejo, respectively.

The aggregation of multi-municipal water supply and sanitation systems into larger scale systems integrates into the restructuring of the water sector as defined by the program of the 19th constitutional government and strives to ensure the economies of scale able to guarantee the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the services rendered whilst bringing about greater territorial equity and social cohesion and correspondingly reducing the tariff disparities resulting from the specific characteristics of the different systems and regions of Portugal.

Tariff harmonisation incorporates a re-adjustment of the charges paid by inland municipalities to ensure they pay less for water supply and wastewater treatment services and duly compensated for by a moderate raising of the tariffs in effect for coastal municipalities. This takes immediate effect in terms of the reduction in inland tariffs and progressive implementation over a period of five years in cases where there are tariff rises so as to offset the resulting impact.

Águas do Norte holds responsibility for the management of the multi-municipal water supply and sanitation system for the North of Portugal and resulting from the aggregation of the multi-municipal systems capturing, treating and supplying water in the southern Greater Oporto region; the water supply and sanitation systems of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro; sanitation for Greater Oporto; and the supply of water and sanitation to the Northeast region. This newly aggregated system integrates 80 municipalities spanning a population of 3.7 million inhabitants over a territorial area corresponding to 22% of mainland Portugal. Águas do Norte is also responsible for providing water supply and wastewater sanitation directly to the populations of Amarante, Arouca, Baião, Celorico de Basto, Cinfães, Fafe, Santo Tirso and Trofa as a result of the Partnership Contract signed in 2013 between the state and those respective municipalities.

Águas do Centro Litoral Norte is the managing entity of the multi-municipal system of water supply and sanitation for the Central Coastal region of Portugal, integrating 30 municipalities and a population totalling 1.1 million inhabitants over an area covering 6% of mainland Portugal. This system emerges out of the aggregation of the Ria de Aveiro multi-municipal sanitation system; the Lis sanitation system and the Baixo Mondego water supply and sanitation systems.

Águas de Lisboa e Vale do Tejo was awarded the concession for the multi-municipal water supply and sanitation system serving Lisbon and the Tagus Valley and spanning 86 different municipalities and a population amounting to 3.8 million inhabitants over a territorial area making up 33% of continental Portugal with operation management delegated to EPAL. This system stems from the merger of the Norte Alentejano multi-municipal water supply and sanitation systems; Centro Alentejo water supply and sanitation; Alto Zêzere e Côa water supply and sanitation; Raia, Zêzere and Nabão water supply and sanitation; Oeste water supply and sanitation; Costa do Estoril sanitation; Setúbal peninsula sanitation; and the sanitation system for the Tagus and Trancão area.

The general meetings held to elect the management bodies of these new companies are scheduled for next June 30th, the date the aforementioned decree-laws come into effect.

29 of May of 2015