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National reform of water services


Vesi Image: Pexels

In July 2023, the Ministry of Climate authorised the EIC to prepare a national reform of the water services. The two-year project will develop a strategic roadmap for water services and the necessary negotiations will be held between local authorities and water companies.

More than EUR 1 billion of investment is needed over the next ten years to ensure clean drinking water for Estonia’s citizens. Both ageing pipelines and treatment equipment need to be replaced, and information technologies require development. In addition to investments, a report published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in autumn 2022 pointed to shortcomings in water pricing methodology in Estonia and drew attention to the need to agree on a national strategy.

In June of this year, a broad-based steering group, set up by the Ministry of Climate to draw up a strategic roadmap for water services or a national long-term plan, began work. The agreed-upon strategy will help to ensure the continuity and sustainability of the public water supply and sanitation service.

The steering group will agree on a water pricing methodology and water business indicators that support the sector and promote efficiency, as well as develop a sustainable water business model. The steering group is comprised of representatives of the Ministry of Climate, the Competition Board, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Environmental Investment Centre, the Health Board, the Estonian Waterworks Association, the Association of Estonian Cities and Municipalities, the Estonian Association of Water Supply and Sewerage Engineers, and the Central Union of Estonian Property Owners.

To keep up to date with the progress of the reform, you can follow the Water Services Reform page on the Ministry of Climate’s website.

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Veeteenuse reformi strateegia koostamise etapid. Allikas: Kliimaministeerium