General Secretariat for Natural Environment & Water - SSW (Greece)


Regulatory Model

The regulatory competences for the water sector in Greece have been assigned to the Special Secretariat for Water (SSW), which constitutes a single administrative body in the Hellenic Ministry of Environment, Energy & Climate Change. The SSW is also responsible for the development and implementation of all programs related to the protection and management of the water resources of Greece and the coordination of all competent authorities dealing with the aquatic environment. The National Policy for water resources is based on the EU provisions transposed into the national legislative framework.
In addition the SSW is competent for the submission of pricing policy proposals to the governmental decision makers (National Water Committee).
In line with its recently established responsibilities (Law 4117/2013 and JMD 322/2013), the Special Secretariat for Water is responsible for the strategic planning, development & evaluation of policy for rational and sustainable management of water services.
On this basis, a regulatory framework for costing and pricing of water and sewerage services in Greece is under development (given the absence of a single pricing policy framework at national level).

Market Structure

Water and waste water services in Greece are provided by the Municipal owned water utilities (around 130 operational companies at the moment) and municipalities (as water service providers), that serve for around 5,2 million users. They are supervised by the Municipal Board and by the General Secretary of the Region they operate (Law 1069/1980, 3463/2006 and 3852/2010). They are responsible for the operation of all kinds of activities of water and waste water services in residential centers of the country and also for planning, constructing, maintaining, operating, managing water supply and waste water systems, waste water treatment plants in the assigned areas of responsibility.
In the areas of Athens and Thessaloniki the services for over 5 million users are provided by two publicly owned companies (EYDAP S.A. and EYATH S.A.). Both of them are providers with responsibilities in water and waste water services and planning, constructing, installing, commissioning, operating, managing, maintaining, expanding water supply and waste water systems in the areas assigned by law (Law 2744/1999 and 2651/1998).
As far as water for agricultural use is concerned, services and necessary works are provided by Local Organizations who operate under the supervision of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food and the Municipal and Regional Governments. They manage over 40% of water used for agricultural purposes.

Tariff Setting

For the Municipal water and waste water companies, tariffs are set by the Board of Directors and approved by the Municipal Board. The Pricing Policy for the municipal water utilities takes into account the managerial, maintenance and infrastructure cost, while parameters such as the area and the intended use are also taken into account.
According to the recently established framework the approval of the tariffs for the two largest water companies in Greece (for Athens & Thessaloniki) has been assigned to the Minister of Economy after the proposal of the special Secretary for Water, while from July 2015 the Special Secretary for Water will be charged with that responsibility.

Quality of Service

There is not a unified regulatory framework for monitoring the quality of service provided by the market. Water utilities are obliged to comply with various national legislation, as far as quality of drinking water and waste water is concerned.
Additionally, for the two largest water companies in Greece , EYDAP SA and EYATH SA, the legal framework also includes the regulations for drinking water supply and operation of the sewerage network (Ministerial Decisions). Moreover, according to Law 3425/2005, the aforementioned water companies are obliged to compile an “Obligations towards Consumers Chart”.

The Regulator




Relevant Authorities:

Legal Basis: Law 4117/2013 and JMD 322/2013, Law 1218/1978, Law 2744/1999, Law 2651/1998, JMD Υ2/2600/2001

Relevant Entities

Ministry of Health:
Ministry of Rural Development and Food:
Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change:

The Sector


Number of operators:

Ownership and management of services:

130 operators- municipal water utilities and the municipalities that operate as water service providers. 2 operators are owned by the state with the participation of the private sector in the Shareholder Structure an

Volume of Activity:

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