What is grass-roots privatization

"I am against privatization"

Zischup:How does the water supply work?
Yvonne Schweickhardt:There are basically two types of extraction: The extraction of surface water from lakes and rivers or of groundwater from deep wells and springs. In Freiburg, Badenova obtains drinking water exclusively from groundwater. From two groundwater collectors and new deep wells in Ebnet and from six deep wells in Hausen, water is collected at different depths and pumped to the surface. The water from the Hausen waterworks reaches the consumer without treatment. In the Ebnet waterworks, the carbonic acid that ripens raw is neutralized by adding a milk of lime mixture and the water is sterilized.

Zischup:What is being privatized?
Schweickhardt:In the area of ​​water supply, as in the case of electricity and gas supply, an opening of the market is to be achieved. Negotiations are currently underway on a European directive on the award of concessions for the award of drinking water. When the directive comes into force, large national or international corporations could also apply for the water concession. There is currently no such competition for the water concession in the water sector.

Zischup:Badenova belongs to the city of Freiburg, what is the city's opinion on privatization?
Schweickhardt:The city of Freiburg, Lord Mayor Dr. Dieter Salomon, speaks out against privatization. Water is rightly called the number one food, so it is imperative that citizens have 100 percent safety. And of course the price also has to be right. The opinion of the city of Freiburg coincides with that of Badenova.

Zischup:What are the advantages and disadvantages of privatization?
Schweickhardt:In individual cases, water supplies have already been privatized. In England's capital, London, since privatization, it is reported that ailing lines have been part of everyday life and the quality cannot be compared with ours. Possible advantages could be that the proponents promise cost savings. It is uncertain whether this will actually be achieved or whether investments will not simply be delayed at the expense of a good return. This is what the critics fear. In a number of EU countries, the tendering-free award of water concessions has probably led to cases of corruption - it is hoped that the new regulation will address this problem. In Germany, however, there are no such abuses.

Zischup:Why would it make sense to privatize the water supply?
Schweickhardt:It could make sense if the efficiency is actually increased in spite of a consistently good water quality - in the extraction, treatment and distribution of the water, and if the local budgets and citizens would then be relieved.

Zischup:What would the privatization of water mean for the residents of Freiburg?
Schweickhardt:Is currently not foreseeable. It depends on which strategy the company is pursuing.

Zischup:What is your opinion?
Schweickhardt:I am against privatization. The opinion of many cities and municipalities and of Badenova is as follows: In the area of ​​water supply, one-sided thinking and economic management geared towards profit maximization has lost nothing. The resource water is far too valuable and precious for that. The aspect of prevention, research, trying out and implementing new processes and techniques - all of this is absolutely necessary and sometimes expensive. If it's all about profit maximization, this can easily get under the wheels.

To person:

Yvonne Schweickhardt is 40 years old and works as a press officer and in corporate communications at Badenova. In corporate communication, she answers questions from all media.