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German Water Charges Second-Highest in Europe, Handelsblatt Says

Germany’s average charge of 5.34 euros ($7.10) per cubic meter of drinking and waste water lags only Denmark’s 6.19 euros in Europe, Handelsblatt says, citing information from NUS Consulting.

The city of Potsdam has Germany’s highest water costs, at 6.28 euros per cubic meter, the newspaper reported. Germans have reduced their daily water useage per head by 18 percent to 121 liters (31.9 gallons) since 1990, it said.

The charges, maintained by public authorities who control 92 percent of Germany’s water market, are driving private operators out of the market, Suez Environnement Co Chief Executive Officer Jean-Marc Boursier told the newspaper.

The French company no longer has operations in Germany as a result, he is cited as saying. Competitor Veolia Enivironnement SA plans to sell its 25 percent stake in water operations to the city. Berlin’s finance senator Ulrich Nussbaum was in Paris yesterday to negotiate the sale, Handelsblatt said.

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