Macedonia has the highest water loss in the region, at the level of the whole country, it is about 63 percent

Fountain for drinking water / Photo: "Sloboden Pechat" - Dragan Mitreski

A continuous investment cycle in the water supply network is imperative in the fight to reduce water losses from the source to the glass, which according to the data for 2023 at the level of the entire country is over 60 percent on average. This was emphasized at the 32nd General Assembly of water regulators from the European Union - WAREG (European water regulators), which is being held today in Skopje.

The President of the Regulatory Commission for Energy and Municipal Waste Management Services (RKE), Marko Bislimoski, pointed out that in the region we are one of the countries with the highest losses.

- In Macedonia, water losses, at the level of the entire country, are 62-63 percent. We, as the Energy Regulatory Commission, have repeatedly said that we do not shy away from responsibility and are ready to determine the final price for all water services, taking into account our experience in energy as well, by guaranteeing that we will improve the efficiency of companies, enable a greater number of investments and at the expense of that, we will reduce water losses at the state level and at the same time, we will not cause any price shocks. So, with the reduction of losses, the quantities that will be invoiced will increase and thus, there will be no need to increase the price for water services, Bislimoski said in a statement to the media.

It is crucial to provide a price that will enable the development of enterprises, that it be available and acceptable to the end users, and that the regulator takes full responsibility in forming the end price.

- For years, we have been insisting on fully assuming the responsibility for establishing tariffs that are realistic and investment-inducing. With natural resources, like water, we must not allow alibi games. At this moment, RKE only determines a range of tariffs - from minimum to maximum, and the councils of local governments usually decide on the lowest price, i.e. a tariff that provides a minimum threshold of profitability with small investments, while the network is not renewed, and employment increases . A continuous investment cycle in the infrastructure is necessary, as well as optimizing the number of employees in the public utility companies, while at the same time it is crucial to ensure a price that will enable the development of the companies and at the same time be available and acceptable to the end users. As regulators, we see a solution by assuming full authority in the formation of the final price, Bislimoski believes.

WAREG unites 35 regulatory bodies that monitor the water sector and enable the protection of more than 400 million consumers.

The mission of the Association, indicated its president Andrea Guerini, is to harmonize the actions of the European regulatory bodies by encouraging proactive cooperation, exchange of knowledge, experiences and good practices, as well as other activities that build the capacities of the members.

- The role of economic regulators is crucial for ensuring the financial stability of the sector, as well as for the realization of the necessary capital investments for innovation and for bringing the sector closer to EU environmental standards, Guerini believes.

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