Water Price

In a precise legislative context, the Walloon Region decided to impose a single price for water, that is, everybody pays the real price for his/her water consumption and for the pollution s/he causes (wastewater). A new tariff structure, revolving around a “water supply true-cost” (CVD) and a “sanitation true-cost” (CVA) is therefore in force.

1. Price of water today

The price of water comprises two axes:

1. A usage fee, which is a fixed amount paid whatever the water consumption. It is a water subscription, just like a phone or a cable television subscription;

2. A part calculated according to the water consumption, subdivided in four parts: CVD, FSE, CVA, VAT.

The legislation says that a single distributor cannot apply a single tariff on the area of a river sub-basin.

1.1. Water Supply True-Cost (CVD)

The Water Supply True-Cost (CVD) comprises:

- the production-supply cost: these are the costs supported by the water supply company to catch the water, treat it, stock it and supply it to every consumer. All consumers supplied by the same water supply company and living in the same sub-basin will pay the same water price, whatever the municipality they reside in.

- the protection of water resources: for each cubic meter of water used, the consumer pays 0.0992€ to preserve the quality of the water drawn from the source.

Each year, the water supply companies decide upon the CVD, according to the standardised accounting plan of the water sector settled by the Walloon Government, after submitting it, for information, to the Water Control Committee. If an increase in the CVD is required, it is submitted to the authorization of the Federal Public Service Economy, S.M.E.s, Self-employed and Energy.

1.2. Social Funds for Water (FSE)

A 0.0125€ tax is withdrawn for each cubic meter used as a source of revenue for the Funds, based on the principle of solidarity among consumers and intended to help those who have trouble paying off their water bill. Please note that the tax is identical everywhere in Wallonia.

1.3. Sanitation True-Cost (CVA)

From October 2003 on, the tax on the discharge of household wastewater paid to the Walloon Region was gradually reduced and finally transformed in a “sanitation true-cost” as soon as 2004. This conveys the will of the Parliament to have the consumer pay a service rather than a tax.

This change is an important step towards the application of an actual true-cost of water in Wallonia, as recommended by the European Directives in that matter.

As a matter of fact, the water used is polluted when thrown out. Therefore, this water needs to be treated before going back to its natural environment. An amount of 1.565€ (ex VAT) (1st January 2013) is withdrawn for each cubic meter used to allow the financing of the wastewater. So, the consumer pays for the pollution s/he causes.

With a view to protect our water resources, Europe indeed decided that all wastewater made in agglomerations of more than 2,000 inhabitants should be collected and treated. In order to comply with this European commitment, the Walloon Region provides for investments to the amount of €3 billion in the period 2000-2014, as regards public sanitation and priority sewerage.

Such an amount implies a contribution from the citizen consumer. The CVA is settled for the whole of the Walloon territory by the Société Publique de Gestion de l'Eau (SPGE), according to the management contract binding it to the Government. The SPGE paid close attention to the fairness and equity of the contribution by taking into account social concerns, and above all by the application of a minimal cost. The latter can be obtained through different methods such as fiscal optimization, looking for scale economies, and a dynamic financial management of the cash flow.

1.4. VAT

VAT is 6%, as for all basic supplies.

1.5. Tariff structure

The tariff structure is based upon the notions of CVD and CVA. It is a structure by gradual phases, calculated by cubic meter, which price is calculated as follows:



Fixed fees for meters

(20 x CVD) + (30 x CVA)

from 0 to 30 m3

0.5 x CVD

from 30 to 5,000 m3


5,000 m3 and more

(0.9 x CVD) + CVA

Social Funds

0.0125 €/m3

The 6% VAT should be added to the price.

2. Existence of an individual water treatment plant

People who only produce household wastewater and treat it in the conditions and according to the technical rules defined by the Walloon Regional Executive can get an exemption from CVA (sanitation true-cost) as long as they provide the administration with the justification of the treatment of the water they discharge, or as long as they prove they do not take part in the discharge of household wastewater, neither in the public sewerage, nor in the underground water, and do not consist of a source of diffuse pollution. The application of the principle “polluter pays” therefore works two-way.

The application of exemption for CVA should be sent by registered mail to the Walloon Region Ministry – Water division – Direction “Taxe et redevance” (Tax and usage fee). The application should include a sworn statement, consisting of a description of the water treatment installation and of the elements necessary to the estimation of the pollutant load.

Exemption possibilities for CVA apply to the natural or legal people, of public or private law. Establishments such as housing estates, campsites, barracks, etc. which have their own water treatment plant are therefore concerned.

In particular cases, the administration demands a full file including the description and the dimension of the constituents of the plant, as well as the results of analyses carried out by authorized laboratories. It should testify the efficiency of the water treatment plant.

For further information: SPW, Mr Halleux or Mme Collard

3. Industrial tax

In compliance with the regulatory provisions, industrial consumers must also pay the sanitation true-cost on the household wastewater. As for the industrial part, it remains submitted to the industrial tax determined on the basis of the pollutant load, that is 8.9242€/UCP (unit of pollutant load). The industrial tax is received by the administration of the Walloon Region.