The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced $176 Million USD in funding for Vitens, the Netherlands largest water utility, to be applied to a 2020-2024 investment programme to future-proof drinking water distribution networks.
The works include renewal and upgrade of water treatment plants, reservoirs and pumping stations, as well as distribution of water meters and improvements to distribution networks.
Part of the program, announced 5 August, includes increasing water reserves in order to buffer anticipated extreme weather events. The investment programme is part of Vitens’ strategy to adapt to accommodate demographic and economic growth and the adverse impacts of climate change.
“This kind of investment shows the added value that European Institutions can bring to The Netherlands," said the head of the EIB’s Amsterdam office, Els Sweeney-Bindels in a press release.
“Vitens is a sustainable drinking water utility that is socially anchored, with a positive impact on people and nature. Increasing investments are necessary to ensure 24/7 drinking water.” says Marike Bonhof, the CFO of Vitens N.V. “Not only in the short run but also for future generations.”
Vitens’ investments are consistent with European Union water directives and will ensure the sustainability of reliable and affordable drinking water supply in its service area.
The company is The Netherlands’ largest water utility, with a statutory monopoly covering 92 municipalities in 5 provinces. The company serves about 6 million people or about one-third of the Netherlands’ population.