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  • EIB financing aims to increase water service resilience against drought, reduce water losses and improve energy efficiency.
  • Operations are planned for the rehabilitation, expansion and optimisation of water treatment plants, water networks, distribution systems, sewer lines and ICT infrastructure.
  • Italy was the biggest beneficiary of EIB resources for the water sector from 2016 to 2022, receiving €2.9 billion.

Increasing the efficiency, security of supply and resilience of the water and wastewater service in the Province of Como are the main objectives of the €50 million loan provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to Como Acqua S.r.l, a public company that provides integrated water services to around 500 000 people.

Specifically, the investment programme for the period 2023-2026 provides for a raft of initiatives across the 147 municipalities of the Como Acqua service area, designed to modernise water and wastewater infrastructure and increase operating efficiency, helping to reduce water losses and improve energy efficiency. In addition, operations are planned for the rehabilitation, expansion and optimisation of water treatment plants, water networks, sewer lines, wastewater treatment plants and digital infrastructure, including the integrated telemetry system.

The financing provided by the EU climate bank is also aimed at making water services more resilient to future extreme weather events such as drought via investments in network efficiency, interconnection of water systems and water resource management.

“This financing represents a key step forward in improving the quality and sustainability of the water service in Lombardy. With the support of the EU climate bank, Como Acqua S.r.l. will be able to successfully implement its investment plan, ensuring a reliable, efficient and resilient integrated water service in the Province of Como,” said Andrea Clerici, EIB Head of Infrastructure, Energy and Public Sector Financing in Italy.

“The EIB’s support provides tangible confirmation of how much our company has grown when you consider the type of businesses that are given access to such assistance from the banking sector. I wish to sincerely thank all our members because great strides can only be made by having a shared vision and goals. I also extend my gratitude to all those who work daily with commitment and responsibility so that Como Acqua can be increasingly effective in its core mission of protecting the right to access drinking water,” said Enrico Pezzoli, Chairman and CEO of Como Acqua.

Strong EIB support for Italy’s water sector

The EIB is the EU climate bank and one of the world's largest lenders to the water sector, with over 1 600 projects and around €80 billion in funding granted since 1958. Italy was the biggest beneficiary of EIB resources for the water sector from 2016 to 2022. The EIB financed 40 operations in the country during this period, providing a total of €2.9 billion and helping to unlock about €8.9 billion in investment.

Background information

European Investment Bank (EIB)

The Bank finances projects in four priority areas: infrastructure, innovation, climate and environment, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Between 2019 and 2022, the EIB Group provided €45 billion in financing for projects in Italy.

Como Acqua

Como Acqua Srl is a publicly-owned company that awards in-house contracts according to its own procedures. Its sole purpose is the management and provision of the integrated water service, namely all public services such as water collection, supply, distribution, purification and analysis; and administrative and financial management of networks, facilities and other assets instrumental to the operation of public services. Active since 2019, it has experienced constant growth in terms of both business scope and workforce, and in particular annual investments, which amount to €34.399 million.