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Sustainability of WSS utilities –
Experiences and challenges from
Finland
INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP: “ENHANCING SUSTAINABILITY AND
EFFICIENCY OF WSS PROVISION”, EU DG Reform and OECD, 15-16 June 2021
15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä
1
Osmo Seppälä
Managing Director, Finnish Water Utilities Association
15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä
2
Finnish Water Utilities Association (FIWA)
FIWA's main purpose is to facilitate
an enabling operational environment
for its member utilities and support
their functions. FIWA works to
safeguard and promote the interests
of its member utilities and to enhance
their professional skills.
Finnish Water Utilities Association (FIWA) is
the co-operation and member association of the
Finnish water and wastewater utilities, established
in 1956. FIWA's membership includes about 300
Finnish water utilities which cover about 90 % of
water services in Finland. In addition, FIWA has
over 180 collaborating members (companies,
institutes, etc.).
15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä
3
• Structure of WSS utility sector in Finland
(brief overview)
• Investment needs in WSS utility sector in
Finland 2020-2040
• How to address the challenges?
• Previous strategic studies on policy measures
• National Water Services Reform
Economics of infrastructure planning.
How to address a mismatch between
high investment needs and technical and
financial capacity of small municipalities?
15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä
4
• About 1100 official water utilities
(as defined by the Water Services Act 2001/2014)
• Altogether about 1800 water service production
organisations (this includes the 1100 utilities above)
• About 450 municipality owned, about 1350 co-operatives
• Great diversity in size and capacity:
– Large utilities (over 1 mill. m3/year), about 80 nos.
– Mid-size utilities (100 000 –1 mill. m3/year), about 280 nos.
– Small utilities (below 100 000 m3/year), about 1460 nos.
• Several operators in one municipality (see map)
Structure of WSS utility sector in Finland
15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä
5
Structure of WSS utility sector in Finland
> 16
11-15
6-10
2-5
1
Number of water
utilities / operators
per municipality
Population:
about 5,5 million
Municipalities: 309 nos.
Water utilities /
co-operatives:
about 1800 nos.
15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä
6
Investment needs in WSS utility sector
in Finland 2020-2040
Estimated investment needs 2020-20240 vs. realised investments 2016-2018
Annual investments (mill. €/a)
Average annual investments 2016-2018
Investment needs 2040-2040 (FIWA, 2020)
Water treatment
Wastewater treatment
Water network rehab
Sewer network rehab
Stormwater network rehab
Water network new inv
Sewer network new inv
Stormwater network new
15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä
7
Large utilities Mid-size utilities Small utilities
Number of utilities in
group
About 80 About 280 About 1460
Per cent of water
sold (in Finland)
About 80 % About 10-15 % About 5-10 %
Water network (km) 40 500 44 300 29 400
Water network (%) 35 39 26
Sewer network (km) 27 300 19 200 6 700
Sewer network (%) 51 36 13
Share of network
investment needs
(total ~ 600 M€/a)
About 71 % About 26 % About 3 %
Challenges: investment needs vs. capacity
Large utilities (over 1 mill. m3/year), about 80 nos.
Mid-size utilities (100 000 –1 mill. m3/year), about 280 nos.
Small utilities (below 100 000 m3/year), about 1460 nos.
15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä
8
Large utilities Mid-size utilities Small utilities
Investment needs
per produced water
amount (€/m3)
0,8 – 0,9 1,0 – 1,4 1,3
Investment needs
per connected
customer, drinking
water (€/cap, a)
56 - 78 79 - 97 93
Investment needs
per treated
wastewater amount
(€/m3)
0,6 – 0,7 0,9 – 1,2 1,3
Investment needs
per connected
customer, waste
water (€/cap, a)
65 - 78 109 - 148 162
Challenges: investment needs vs. capacity
Investment needs per unit are relatively much higher in smaller utilities
15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä
9
Strategic study done in 2018
Sustainable water services for the future – direction, steering and
organization
Publications of the Government´s analysis, assessment and research activities 56/2018
“As a result of the project, a pathway is suggested for ensuring sustainable water services in the
future. Along its way, there are gradually tightening combinations of policy instruments to be
implemented at different times.
In the first phase, the suggested measures are the use of information tools, the further
development of the VEETI system and the introduction of competency and renovation plan
requirements. These measures can be implemented with the current structure, but can improve
the situation, if successful.
In the second phase, steering towards structural change would be stricter, obliging small
municipalities to co-operate and ultimately creating larger units with strict statutory control. If the
gentler instruments are sufficient for reaching the targets, there is no need to implement the
stricter ones.”
15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä
10
National Water Services Reform
• The national programme on water services reform was drawn up in broad-based
cooperation with operators in the water services sector, led by the Ministry of Agriculture
and Forestry. Other ministries and public authorities, water utilities and associations
representing these, the municipal sector, and other key stakeholders in the water services
sector took part in the work.
• The common vision created in the programme is ‘responsible water services 2030’. A
responsible water services sector ensures high-quality and safe water services and leads
the way towards the carbon-neutral circular economy. The programme presents an action
plan to reach the vision. Its implementation requires the commitment and involvement of
all stakeholders in building a common future. The implementation of the programme will be
monitored in cooperation with operators in the water services sector. The action plan will
be amended and updated to reach the vision.
• Well-functioning water services are an absolute necessity for all residents of Finland and a
key condition for business and for the functioning of other indispensable services such as
healthcare. Finnish water services are safe and of a high quality, and we want to keep
them that way as the society and environment are changing. The water services sector
must be capable of adapting, renewal and predicting changes to maintain its position as
the cornerstone of sustainable development and source of national pride.
15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä
11
National Water Services Reform
ACTIONS OF THE NATIONAL WATER SERVICES REFORM
RESPONSIBLE WATER SERVICES 2030
HIGH QUALITY AND SAFE
WATER SERVICES
• Developing regional co-operation and advancing structural
/ organizational change
• Developing economy & financial management, asset
management, and operational performance of WW utilities
• Developing competence requirements and career paths
• Taking in use the criteria for good quality water services
• Developing and applying long-term investment planning
and water services development planning
FORERUNNERS IN CARBON NEUTRAL
CIRCULAR ECONOMY
• Developing digitalization and data / knowledge
management practices in WSS utilities
• Advancing co-operation between regional water
competence and circular economy centres
CO-OPERATION AND DIALOGUE WITHIN THE WATER SECTOR
RENEWING / REVIEWING
WATER SERVICES
LEGISLATION
15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä
12
Key areas of the Reform:
• Developing regional co-operation and advancing structural /
organizational change
• Developing economy & financial management, asset management,
and operational performance of WW utilities
• Developing competence requirements and career paths
• Taking in use the criteria for good quality water services
• Developing and applying long-term investment planning and water
services development planning
• Developing digitalization and data / knowledge management
practices in WSS utilities
• Advancing co-operation between regional water competence and
circular economy centres
• Renewing / reviewing water services legislation
National Water Services Reform
15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä
13
Finnish Water Utilities Association
FIWA
Ratamestarinkatu 7 B
FI-00520 HELSINKI, Finland
tel: +358 9 868 9010
email vvy@vvy.fi
website www.vvy.fi

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Joint workshop on Enhancing efficiency and sustainability of Water Supply and Sanitation presentation - Osmo Seppälä

  • 1. Sustainability of WSS utilities – Experiences and challenges from Finland INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP: “ENHANCING SUSTAINABILITY AND EFFICIENCY OF WSS PROVISION”, EU DG Reform and OECD, 15-16 June 2021 15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä 1 Osmo Seppälä Managing Director, Finnish Water Utilities Association
  • 2. 15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä 2 Finnish Water Utilities Association (FIWA) FIWA's main purpose is to facilitate an enabling operational environment for its member utilities and support their functions. FIWA works to safeguard and promote the interests of its member utilities and to enhance their professional skills. Finnish Water Utilities Association (FIWA) is the co-operation and member association of the Finnish water and wastewater utilities, established in 1956. FIWA's membership includes about 300 Finnish water utilities which cover about 90 % of water services in Finland. In addition, FIWA has over 180 collaborating members (companies, institutes, etc.).
  • 3. 15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä 3 • Structure of WSS utility sector in Finland (brief overview) • Investment needs in WSS utility sector in Finland 2020-2040 • How to address the challenges? • Previous strategic studies on policy measures • National Water Services Reform Economics of infrastructure planning. How to address a mismatch between high investment needs and technical and financial capacity of small municipalities?
  • 4. 15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä 4 • About 1100 official water utilities (as defined by the Water Services Act 2001/2014) • Altogether about 1800 water service production organisations (this includes the 1100 utilities above) • About 450 municipality owned, about 1350 co-operatives • Great diversity in size and capacity: – Large utilities (over 1 mill. m3/year), about 80 nos. – Mid-size utilities (100 000 –1 mill. m3/year), about 280 nos. – Small utilities (below 100 000 m3/year), about 1460 nos. • Several operators in one municipality (see map) Structure of WSS utility sector in Finland
  • 5. 15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä 5 Structure of WSS utility sector in Finland > 16 11-15 6-10 2-5 1 Number of water utilities / operators per municipality Population: about 5,5 million Municipalities: 309 nos. Water utilities / co-operatives: about 1800 nos.
  • 6. 15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä 6 Investment needs in WSS utility sector in Finland 2020-2040 Estimated investment needs 2020-20240 vs. realised investments 2016-2018 Annual investments (mill. €/a) Average annual investments 2016-2018 Investment needs 2040-2040 (FIWA, 2020) Water treatment Wastewater treatment Water network rehab Sewer network rehab Stormwater network rehab Water network new inv Sewer network new inv Stormwater network new
  • 7. 15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä 7 Large utilities Mid-size utilities Small utilities Number of utilities in group About 80 About 280 About 1460 Per cent of water sold (in Finland) About 80 % About 10-15 % About 5-10 % Water network (km) 40 500 44 300 29 400 Water network (%) 35 39 26 Sewer network (km) 27 300 19 200 6 700 Sewer network (%) 51 36 13 Share of network investment needs (total ~ 600 M€/a) About 71 % About 26 % About 3 % Challenges: investment needs vs. capacity Large utilities (over 1 mill. m3/year), about 80 nos. Mid-size utilities (100 000 –1 mill. m3/year), about 280 nos. Small utilities (below 100 000 m3/year), about 1460 nos.
  • 8. 15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä 8 Large utilities Mid-size utilities Small utilities Investment needs per produced water amount (€/m3) 0,8 – 0,9 1,0 – 1,4 1,3 Investment needs per connected customer, drinking water (€/cap, a) 56 - 78 79 - 97 93 Investment needs per treated wastewater amount (€/m3) 0,6 – 0,7 0,9 – 1,2 1,3 Investment needs per connected customer, waste water (€/cap, a) 65 - 78 109 - 148 162 Challenges: investment needs vs. capacity Investment needs per unit are relatively much higher in smaller utilities
  • 9. 15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä 9 Strategic study done in 2018 Sustainable water services for the future – direction, steering and organization Publications of the Government´s analysis, assessment and research activities 56/2018 “As a result of the project, a pathway is suggested for ensuring sustainable water services in the future. Along its way, there are gradually tightening combinations of policy instruments to be implemented at different times. In the first phase, the suggested measures are the use of information tools, the further development of the VEETI system and the introduction of competency and renovation plan requirements. These measures can be implemented with the current structure, but can improve the situation, if successful. In the second phase, steering towards structural change would be stricter, obliging small municipalities to co-operate and ultimately creating larger units with strict statutory control. If the gentler instruments are sufficient for reaching the targets, there is no need to implement the stricter ones.”
  • 10. 15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä 10 National Water Services Reform • The national programme on water services reform was drawn up in broad-based cooperation with operators in the water services sector, led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Other ministries and public authorities, water utilities and associations representing these, the municipal sector, and other key stakeholders in the water services sector took part in the work. • The common vision created in the programme is ‘responsible water services 2030’. A responsible water services sector ensures high-quality and safe water services and leads the way towards the carbon-neutral circular economy. The programme presents an action plan to reach the vision. Its implementation requires the commitment and involvement of all stakeholders in building a common future. The implementation of the programme will be monitored in cooperation with operators in the water services sector. The action plan will be amended and updated to reach the vision. • Well-functioning water services are an absolute necessity for all residents of Finland and a key condition for business and for the functioning of other indispensable services such as healthcare. Finnish water services are safe and of a high quality, and we want to keep them that way as the society and environment are changing. The water services sector must be capable of adapting, renewal and predicting changes to maintain its position as the cornerstone of sustainable development and source of national pride.
  • 11. 15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä 11 National Water Services Reform ACTIONS OF THE NATIONAL WATER SERVICES REFORM RESPONSIBLE WATER SERVICES 2030 HIGH QUALITY AND SAFE WATER SERVICES • Developing regional co-operation and advancing structural / organizational change • Developing economy & financial management, asset management, and operational performance of WW utilities • Developing competence requirements and career paths • Taking in use the criteria for good quality water services • Developing and applying long-term investment planning and water services development planning FORERUNNERS IN CARBON NEUTRAL CIRCULAR ECONOMY • Developing digitalization and data / knowledge management practices in WSS utilities • Advancing co-operation between regional water competence and circular economy centres CO-OPERATION AND DIALOGUE WITHIN THE WATER SECTOR RENEWING / REVIEWING WATER SERVICES LEGISLATION
  • 12. 15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä 12 Key areas of the Reform: • Developing regional co-operation and advancing structural / organizational change • Developing economy & financial management, asset management, and operational performance of WW utilities • Developing competence requirements and career paths • Taking in use the criteria for good quality water services • Developing and applying long-term investment planning and water services development planning • Developing digitalization and data / knowledge management practices in WSS utilities • Advancing co-operation between regional water competence and circular economy centres • Renewing / reviewing water services legislation National Water Services Reform
  • 13. 15.6.2021 Osmo Seppälä 13 Finnish Water Utilities Association FIWA Ratamestarinkatu 7 B FI-00520 HELSINKI, Finland tel: +358 9 868 9010 email vvy@vvy.fi website www.vvy.fi