Initiative: Water from Paris
Institution: Eau de Paris
Problem: Until 2010 the public water in Paris was provided in a fragmented manner between four entities. This fragmented approach led to a lack of comprehensive vision for the water resources management. Audits demonstrated water costs for the community was higher by 25 to 30 per cent as a result. From 1980 to 2010, the price of drinking water was increased by an average of 7 per cent annually.
Solution: Since 2007, the city has begun a process of taking over its public water service. In 2008, it created a public authority, Water from Paris, to take charge of production and distribution of water. A contract between Water from Paris and the City of Paris is the instrument for steering and evaluating the municipal guardianship of authority. It sets out criteria that guarantee a balanced management by strictly supervising the evolution of expenses, strategic investment choices and the price of water. Revisable every 5 years, it provides regular (monthly and semi-annual) evaluation and an annual assessment by the city departments.
Impact: The emergence of a new model in public water management services has changed the production and distribution of quality drinking water at the lowest price. Water from Paris is a guarantor of access to water as vital and essential element for all and a committed actor in the long-term preservation of water as natural resource threatened by the effects of climate change. With the establishment of a single operator of public drinking water, a net annual savings of more than € 30 million is realized. From January 1 2011, the water price dropped by 8 per cent. It also implemented the “right to water” through development of free public fountains in the public space and an energy-climate plan aimed at reducing the ecological footprint of the company’s activities. Eau de Paris contributed to the climate change through the “greening” of its infrastructure and development of non-potable water.