- From: Vol 4, Issue 10 (October 2003)
- Category: Need to know
- Region: Europe
- Related Companies: American Water Works and AWG
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UK: Tony Eckford, the director responsible for AWG’s international water activities, stepped down at the end of September.
Officially it is because AWG is winding down its international water activities and does not require the Thames Water veteran’s skills as well as those of international division managing director. Patrick O’Leary. Unofficially, Eckford may be joining the growing ranks of British water executives attempting management buy-outs. He was reported in The Sunday Times to be having a go at AWG’s international division.
Italy: New funds have been earmarked to upgrade water and wastewater infrastructure across Italy. Rome and surrounding areas will receive €25.6 million from Lazio’s regional funds for upgrades or new infrastructure. Priority will be given to projects that safeguard highly vulnerable water basins from pollution. Earlier in the year, another €40 million had been earmarked by the regional authorities to build wastewater treatment plants along the Aniene river, a highly polluted tributary to the Tiber. Another €25 million worth of regional funds was earmarked by Tuscany to finance projects aimed at improving aqueducts and wastewater infrastructure. A framework agreement between the national government and the Friuli-Venezia Giulia regional authorities will raise more than €30 million to increase drinking water availability, upgrade water management, and improve the quality of wastewater reaching bathing waters.
Italy: Lack of clarity on key accountability, poor coordination and incongruous planning are to blame for Italy’s failure to spend most of the €6 billion earmarked in a ministerial decree of July 1997 to improve wastewater infrastructure, the court of auditors has found. A mere €1.5 billion was estimated to have been allocated to specific projects by the end of 2001, the judges said in a report. Various factors contributed to failed implementation of the plan, including the complex web of overlapping tasks and responsibilities that national, regional and local authorities were assigned. The court also stressed that failure to set up a supervising committee – and consequently to provide proper monitoring over the plan’s implementation – had proved fatal. A survey of the Italian water sector begins on page 18.