Water supply and sewerage services in Albania
WSS services sector mainly operates through operators organized as a joint stock company owned by the local government. Currently in the sector operate 57 operators, 53 of them operate under a WRA license and 48 operators apply tariffs approved by WRA. Sewerage services are not offered by all operators. This service is offered by 32 operators, 5 of whom also conduct the wastewater treatment. WRA finds that companies have the will to meet and support the efforts of the regulator to establish a stable regulatory and transparent environment in the sector.
The Albanian Government developed and is implementing administrative - territorial reform, reform that marks a significant step in the organization of water supply and wastewater disposal services. The reorganization of these services according to the new territorial division of the Republic of Albania is necessary to achieve an optimum situation in order to ensure continuous supply of drinking water and significantly improvement in the functioning of the sewerage system.
Under this reform, the Council of Ministers Decision no. 63, date 01.27.2016 "On the reorganization of operators that provide drinking water supply, collection, removal and treatment of wastewater services" defines all the necessary legal steps that the new municipalities must follow to reorganize the WSS operators, transfer the WSS systems who are newly in municipal administrative area, their inventory and accounting, licensing and tariffs approval for the new operators. Operators must apply for a license and tariff approval to WRA, that can be differentiated for the urban and rural area.
The sector has developed steadily, although levels and performance indicators is not adequate compared to the sector's strategic objectives and better performance of the WRA. The main concern in the sector is the high level of losses, an indicator that has not a significant improvement. WRA has stressed repeatedly that the reduction of losses should be a priority of the operators, although the control and reduction takes time and investment.
Water supply service coverage has a positive trend but sewerage service continues to lag behind in terms of coverage as well as the required level of service to ensure the protection of water and environment.
The main sources of financing the operators, have been the budget state and donors in the form of loans or grants in approximately equal ratios. These investments are mainly focused on the rehabilitation of water supply systems as well as building sewerage treatment plant.