Until 1989, it was the responsibility of the state to supply its inhabitants with drinking water, provide sewers and treatment of waste water. This responsibility was carried out by means of five state water and sewer enterprises. The whole system of its management was centrally organized by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Slovak Republic by means of Regional and Municipal Offices, while these state enterprises had largely limited competencies, mainly in the area of investments into public waterpipelines and public sewege, which were almost completely funded from the state budget and state endowment. However, from 1989 the process of gentle restructuring of water economy was launched, and since 1990 the competence to provide water supply, waste water treatment and drainage was shifted to municipalities, according to the Act on Municipality Establishment. For this purpose, the government of the Slovak Republic drew up several conception models for transformation of state enterprises, based on which, firstly in terms of pilot projects, some privatisation projects were realized. Consequently, by means of the Slovak Republic government decree No. 217 from March 7th, 2001, it set conditions and planned steps for assignment of property from the existing state water and sewage entersprises on municipal water companies.
The transformation process was realized by the following two steps:
Since September 2003, the following water joint-stock companies were gradually established:
• Bratislavská vodárenská spoločnosť, a.s.,
• Západoslovenská vodárenská spoločnosť, a.s. Nitra,
• Trnavská vodárenská spoločnosť, a.s. Piešťany,
• Východoslovenská vodárenská spoločnosť, a.s. Košice,
• Podtatranská vodárenská spoločnosť, a.s. Poprad,
• Severoslovenská vodárenská spoločnosť, a.s. Žilina,
• Stredoslovenská vodárenská spoločnosť, a.s. Banská Bystrica.
Except the mentioned subjects, during the previous period there were also three other water companies which were established by the realization of pilot privatization projects, as follows:
• Trenčianská vodohospodárska spoločnosť, a.s. Trenčín,
• Vodárne a kanalizácie mesta Komárno, a.s.
• Vodárenská a kanalizačná spoločnosť, s r. o. Dubovany.
At this time, they provide about 95 % of all water services connected with the public pipeline and public sewage operations in Slovakia, which were established by such transformation, from state enterprises to joint-stock companies. To solve its toughest social problems, at the beginning of the year 2004, most of these subjects decided to establish its own association – Association of Water Companies (Asociácia vodárenských spoločností – AVS).
The basic programm goals and activities of AVS are:
• Uniting entrepreneurial subjects who are actively participating in the area of providing water economic activities (according to Act No. 442/2002 Coll. in applicable wording) connected with the operation of public waterpipelines and public sewage with the aim to actively contribute to the protection of public health (production and delivery of drinking water) and to the protection of environment (retain, drainage and cleaning of waste water and treatment of bilge water),
• Enforcing and exercising rightful professional requirements of members of the Association, uniting professional opinions and their defence,
• Realizing negotiations with appropriate professional bodies, according to the Act on Collective Negotiations,
• Uniting professionals from the members of the Association for the purpose of providing expert, advisory and consulting services aimed on the area of water economic activities, as well as providing advisory activities for members of the Association in the area of water economy.
• Cooperation with appropriate state bodies, public administration bodies and with other relevant subjects upon legislation process, concerning the interest of members of the Association, submission of our own legislative proposals aimed on legitimate changes in terms of building suitable legal environment for the participation of members of the Association, as well as creating conditions helping to mutual understanding and agreement between the subjects and instituitions upon such cooperation.
• Representation of interests of members of the Association on the level of public administration bodies, municipal bodies as well as of other subjects of the economic and social life, that is in the Slovak Republic and foreign territory.
• Cooperation with similar professional associations which are active in the territory of the Slovak Republic and in the member states of the European Union, developing activities aimed on the process of integration of the Association into the structure of similar professional associations in the European Union,
• Providing environmentally orientated educative, promotional and publishing activities, concerning the issues related to the programme goals and activities of the Association..
Fullfilment of Programm Resolutions:
The Board of Directors established 6 professional boards (advisory bodies of the Board of Directors), which act in solving problems related to all members of association in the area of water and sewage operation, economy and marketing, legislative – legal, foreign relations, technical normalization and procurement of goods and services.
The managing, economic and organisational centre of the Board of Directors is the Office of AVS.
The President of the Board of Directors is Ing. Jozef Tarič, the General Director and the Member of Board of the Západoslovenská vodárenská spoločnosť, a.s. (West-slovak Water Company). The Vice-President of the Board of Director isIng. Stanislav Hreha, the General Director and the Head of the Board of the Východoslovenská vodárenská spoločnosť, a.s. (East-slovak Water Company). The President of the Board of Supervisors is Ing. Vladimír Pastorek, the General Director and the Head of the Board of the Podtatranská vodárenská spoločnosť, a.s. (Podtatranska Water Company)
The Association publish a magazine called Vodárenské pohľady, which has the ambition to establish the platform for opinions of AVS, mapping its strategies and fulfilling goals, but mostly strengthten the place for communication where the AVS and the professional public (employees of water companies, owners of water companies, Ministry of Environment, Regulatory Office for Network Industries, Water Economy Reasearch Institute, Slovak Technical University, suppliers, customers of water services etc.) shall meet.
The AVS has a clear vision for the future about strengthtening its activities in the area of education and professional preparation of employees of the members of the Association, in strengthtening professional advisory and consulting activities and in further development of the legislative – legal initiative. The main focus of activities of the Association in the near future will be its full integration into the Euro zone through gradual contact building, aiming to develop mutual cooperation for task solving related to the environmental policy of the state and to duties of the Slovak Republic concerning the EU membership.