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The Water Service in Italy

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This paper describes and analyses how the organisation and management of water services in Italy has changed since the reforms introduced by Law No. 36/1994 (the so-called Galli Law). These reforms recognised that the most important public objective for the Italian water services is to achieve an efficient, effective and economic management system. To reach such result, the Galli Law reunified all the different water services, such as aqueducts, purification systems and sewers in a single integrated water service based on optimum territorial domains intended to overcome the fragmentation inherent in the existing management systems. Furthermore, it made a clear distinction between the role of guiding and monitoring activities (entrusted to a domain authority) and the effective management (to be entrusted, instead, to public, private or mixed public-private companies). However, as will be noted in this paper, due to the many tensions between the national and EU rules, the transfer of the integrated water services provision to managing companies still has not been completed. Mostly for this reason, a decade after the Galli Law came into force, the reform still remains to be completed.

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Political Science of the University of Teramo


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