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    -Christophe Wittner \ Cemagref
    "Cemagref provides its know-how in analysing the survey data obtained by the observatory on water and sanitation services..."

Results of the 2010 survey on water and sanitation services

The main trends observed in the survey on water and sanitation services were a drop in household water consumption, an increase in direct management by local governments and a reduction in the differences in prices between directly managed services and those managed by private companies. The survey was carried out by the observatory on water and sanitation services.

The survey of townships was carried out for ten years by the Statistics and forward-looking analysis department (SSP) of the Agriculture ministry and the Observation and statistical department of the Ecology ministry, but in 2010 it was assigned to the national observatory managed by Onema. The agency participated in defining the survey goals and perimeter, and contributed 40% of the budget.

The survey covered a sample of 5 215 townships in continental France and the overseas territories. The price of water, the organisation and type of management of services, the installations and the volumes consumed were all analysed.

The survey clearly confirmed the increasing costs of sanitation in water bills with a yearly rise of 3.3% in the average price of a cubic metre of water. The cost of sanitation now exceeds that of the drinking water itself. The second result is that the share of services with management transferred to private companies has dropped. In addition to a number of services returning to direct, public management, the drop is also due to the creation of new services under direct management. Prices demanded by services under direct management remain lower than prices in those under private management, but the gap is shrinking. It dropped from 0.67 euros per cubic metre in 2004 to 0.57 €/m³ in 2008. The gap between management by individual townships and groups of townships also dropped from 0.44 to 0.25 €/m³.

Finally, clear improvements in services were noted, concerning the percentage of the national territory covered, the efficiency of water networks (losses continued to decline from 23.7% in 2004 to 21.9% in 2008) and the creation of public services in charge of non-collective sanitation systems.


35 511 services including:
15 501 services providing drinking water
• 16 565 collective-sanitation services
• 3 443 non-collective sanitation services