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Agbar Foundation / News / Jesús Sánchez Lambás: ‘The 21st century is the century of public-private partnership in water management’

2 March 2016

Jesús Sánchez Lambás: ‘The 21st century is the century of public-private partnership in water management’

In his participation today in the latest edition of the Water Circle at the Àgora Agbar in Cornellà de Llobregat, with his lecture entitled The Water Management Model, a Challenge for the 21st Century, Sánchez Lambás called for a transition within the Spanish water sector ‘towards a self-regulated public-private partnership model in which the public administrations concentrate on making policy, and the companies of the sector on seeking productivity and maximum efficiency in their business activities’. ‘This transition must involve the creation of a specific organization to supervise the various parties implicated in water management and the elimination of inoperative bodies such as the hydrographic confederations,’ he stated.

In Sánchez Lambás’ opinion, this self-regulated model of public-private partnership ‘is the most efficient that we can achieve’. In this respect, he has highlighted the Agbar model as ‘a global benchmark in terms of water management’.

Sánchez Lambás indicated some of the defects of the current system of water management in Spain. Firstly, the lack of a harmonized regulatory framework: ‘In Spain the application of Article 9 of the Water Framework Directive, which states that the costs associated with the complete water cycle be reflected in the price of water, is still pending. Today the application of this regulatory framework is in disarray, largely because water management, falling under municipal authority, has a structure composed of 8,122 different realities, the number of municipalities in Spain.

Secondly, the state of Spain’s water infrastructures, which currently ‘are seriously deficient, and which need to be improved’. He went on to request ‘the opening of dialogue to tackle the problem of agriculture, a sector which represents little more than 2.4% of GDP in spite of being a sector that accounts for almost 80% of drinking water consumption in Spain’.

Angel Simón, Chairman and CEO of Agbar, presented the event, highlighting the speaker as ‘a reference point in business law, in legislation on water and in transparency and commitment in the fight against corruption’.

Following the lecture, which could be followed live via the Twitter accounts of Agbar Foundation and #CercleAigua, Albert Martínez moderated a debate in which attendees were able to put their questions to the speaker.

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