Different management systems of drinking water services are found within the European Union, where the importance of private industry is becoming increasingly significant. In England and Wales, for example, where water supply services were fully privatised in 1989; and in France and Spain, the delegation of management of drinking water systems has been common practice for a long time, particularly in France.

This paper describes the report prepared by a Working Group within the European Union of National Associations of Water Suppliers and Sewage Services (EUREAU), whose aim has been to analyse the different systems in the EU Member States and group them together under five major categories, one main feature of the report establishes the strong link between the management bodies and the authoritative bodies. It concludes that 65.5% of the EU population's drinking water services provided are managed publicly, while the remaining 34.5% are privately managed.

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