Association of Water Companies
AVS - Association of Water Companies
In order to comprehensively address the most pressing problems of water management, most of the business entities actively involved in the provision of water management activities pursuant to Act no. 442/2002 Coll. as amended, at the beginning of 2004 decided to establish its own association – the Association of Water Companies (AVS).
Until 1989, it was the duty to supply the population with drinking water and to provide drainage and sewage treatment. The state implemented this obligation through five state water and sewage companies. The whole system of their management was centrally organized by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Slovak Republic through regional and municipal authorities, while these state-owned companies had a considerably limited competence, especially in the area of investments in public water supply and public sewerage systems, which were financed almost completely from the state budget and state subsidies. A process of gradual restructuring of water management began in 1989 and the competence to provide water supply, drainage and sewage treatment was passed on to municipalities in 1990 under the Municipal Establishment Act.To this end, the Government of the Slovak Republic has developed several models of concepts for the transformation of state-owned enterprises, on the basis of which some privatization projects have been implemented in the framework of pilot projects. Subsequently, by Resolution of the Government of the Slovak Republic no. 217 of 7 March 2001 set out the conditions and schedule of steps to transfer ownership of assets from existing state water and sewage companies to general water companies.
Water in numbers
The transformation process took place in the following steps:
1. Assessment of privatization projects (developed by existing state water and sewage companies) and subsequent issuance of a decision by the Ministry for Administration and Privatization of National Property of the Slovak Republic to the National Property Fund (FNM).
- free transfer of all water and sewage assets was carried out to such a joint-stock company, while the National Property Fund transferred the shares to municipalities according to the number of inhabitants in individual municipalities.
From September 2003, the following joint-stock water companies were gradually established: Bratislavská vodárenská spoločnosť, a.s., Západoslovenská vodárenská spoločnosť, a.s. Nitra, Trnavská vodárenská spoločnosť, a.s. Piestany,
- Východoslovenská vodárenská spoločnosť, a.s. Košice,
- Podtatranská vodárenská spoločnosť, a.s. Poprad,
- Stredoslovenská vodárenská spoločnosť, a.s. Banská Bystrica,
- Severoslovenská vodárenská spoločnosť, a.s. Žilina,
In addition to the aforementioned entities, there were three other water companies operating in their regions in the previous period, resulting from the implementation of pilot privatization projects, namely:
- Trenčianská vodohospodárska spoločnosť, a.s. Trenčín,
- Vodárne a kanalizácie mesta Komárno, a.s.,
- Vodárenská a kanalizačná spoločnosť, Dubovany.
3. In 2005-2006, next organizational changes took place in some water companies. Podtatranská vodárenská spoločnosť a.s. and Stredoslovenská vodárenská spoločnosť a.s. have been split from the initially mixed companies into ownership and operating companies.
4. Severoslovenská vodárenská spoločnosť a.s. was divided into six smaller successor mixed water companies.
Since 2007, AVS has seventeen members, including six separate companies (ownership or operating) and eleven mixed companies. For more information about our members, see the Membership section.
Water supply companies – members of AVS provide about 95% of water services related to the operation of public water supply and public sewerage systems in Slovakia. In order to be able to comprehensively solve their most pressing common problems, they founded their own association – Association of Water Companies (AVS), based on the Act No. 83/1990 Coll. on Association of Citizens, as amended. AVS has territorial national scope.
The internal organizational structure of the AVS is as follows:
Association bodies: senate, supervisory and administrative board.
The President of AVS is Ing. Stanislav Hreha, PhD. – General Director of Východoslovenská vodárenská spoločnosť, a.s. Košice, Vice President
Ing. Miroslav Kundrík – General Director of Severoslovenská vodárenská spoločnosť a.s. Zilina. He was elected Chairman of the Supervisory Board
Ing. Vladimír Pastorek, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of PVS a.s. Poprad.
The basic program objectives and activities of the AVS are:
- associating business entities active in the provision of water management activities (pursuant to Act No. 442/2002 Coll. as amended) related to the operation of public water supply and public sewerage systems with the aim of actively contributing to the protection of public health (production and supply of drinking water) and environmental protection environment (sewage, drainage and sewage treatment and sludge treatment),
- promoting and enforcing the legitimate professional requirements of the Association’s members, unifying professional opinions and defending them,
- Conducting negotiations with relevant trade union bodies in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Act,
- associating experts from among the members of the Association for the purpose of providing expert, advisory and consulting services focused on water management activities, providing advisory services to members of the Association in the field of water management,
- cooperation with relevant state bodies, public administration bodies and other relevant entities in the legislative process concerning the interests of the Association’s members, submitting its own legislative proposals aimed at accepting substantiated changes within the framework of building an appropriate legal environment for the members of the Association as well as creating conditions conducive to understanding or agreement between entities and institutions in such cooperation,
- representing the interests of Association members at the level of public administration bodies, self-governing bodies as well as other subjects of economic and social life, both in the Slovak Republic and abroad,
- cooperation with similar professional associations operating in the territory of the Slovak Republic and in the member states of the European Union, developing activities aimed at incorporating the Association into the structure of similar professional associations in the European Union,
- providing environmentally oriented educational, promotional and publishing activities focusing on issues related to the Association’s program objectives and activities.
- Filling Program Resolutions:
- The Board of Directors establishes expert committees (advisory bodies of the Board of Trustees), which are involved in solving problems related to all members of the Association in the area of operation of water supply and sewerage systems, economics and marketing, legislative-legal, foreign relations, technical standardization and procurement of goods and services.
The governing, economic and organizational center of the Board of Directors is the AVS Office.
In 2005, the Association started publishing the magazine Vodárenské pohliadky (Water Views), which has the ambition to create a platform for the opinions of AVS members, mapping its strategies and meeting its objectives, but above all to strengthen the communication area where the AVS and the professional public will meet (employees of water companies, owners of VS, MoE SR, URSO, WRI, STU, suppliers, customers of water services, etc.).
In the future, AVS has a clear vision of strengthening its education and training activities in the members of the Association’s, in strengthening its advisory and consultancy activities and in further developing the legislative-legal initiative. The focus of the Association’s activities in the near future will be its full integration into the European area through the gradual construction, use and expansion of fruitful contacts with the aim of developing mutual cooperation in solving tasks arising from the state’s environmental policy and the obligations of the Slovak Republic from EU membership.