Urban Water and Sanitation in Spain


Title: Urban Water and Sanitation in Spain

Duration: 2016 - 2017


This study, developed within 12 months from June 2016 by the water economics team of Institute IMDEA Water, provides a broad picture of the management of urban water cycle services in Spain, including aspects such as the historical evolution of the sector, the current legal and administrative regime, the challenges of management, the requirements in terms of financing or the impacts (positive and negative) of the activity of water utilities and other operators. All this under the integrated logic provided by the idea of governance, a shared responsibility between civil society, the public sector and the private sector. The results of this study make it possible to advance in the identification of the main challenges of the sector, always considering the multiple dimensions of the urban water cycle (social, environmental, economic, etc.) and from the perspective of different key actors in it: the municipalities, as legal holders of these public services; the operators in their different forms (municipal or supramunicipal; as municipal services or companies, other types of public companies, mixed companies, private companies under concession), and the citizens, as end users of the services, taxpayers, members of civil society. The reflection derived from this study was submitted for discussion with a series of experts from different backgrounds last November 2016, during an interdisciplinary seminar convened by the Canal de Isabel II Foundation for this purpose. Their contributions were key in identifying some recommendations that now, with this report, are subject to a broader discussion.


Funded by: Canal Foundation