Supply of water and wastewater

Water and Waste

The core tasks of the water sector is to ensure citizens and companies guaranteed access to affordable, high quality drinking water as well as to provide clean wastewater. Wastewater companies are also responsible for adapting water infrastructure to climate change.

The water sector today

The water sector consists of about 2,400 drinking water supply companies, primarily small consumer owned companies. However, around 70 pct. of the production comes from the 85 municipal companies. Furthermore, there are more than 100 municipal wastewater companies.

The companies in the sector are natural monopolies, meaning that households and companies cannot choose their supplier. For this reason, the sector regulation aims to incentivize an efficient management of the companies and a high quality in the water services delivered by the companies.

Ambitious plans for our future water sector

The regulation of the water sector has until now resulted in greater stability of supply, high environmental performance, and low prices. This continues to be a focal point looking ahead.

In the near future, rainfalls and cloudbursts due to climate change will intensify the need for adaption, which will require large investments in water infrastructure. The economic regulation therefore will have to provide the necessary framework for the companies to take on and succeed with this task in an economical and efficient way.

The government is furthermore analysing the possibilities for as well as the consequences of a more consolidated water sector characterized by a high degree of supply security, along with guaranteeing environmental and human health protections as well as other ways to secure a continuously resilient and cost effective sector for the Danish water consumers.

Reducing emissions from sewage treatment plants

Danish sewage treatment plants are expected to emit 0.22 mio. tonnes CO2e in 2030, approximately 21 pct. below the basis year 1990. These emissions are primarily methane and nitrous oxide (laughing gas).

The broad political agreement on a Climate plan for a green waste sector and circular economy from June 2020 seeks to halve the emissions of nitrous oxide by imposing emissions limits. This is expected to reduce emissions by 0.02m tonnes a year from 2025.

Contact

Centre for Green Transition

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