Federico Caporale, La soppressione delle Autorità d’ambito e la Consulta: le prospettive nella regolazione locale dei servizi idrici


1. La sentenza della Corte costituzionale n. 128/2011 e la soppressione delle Autorità d’ambito. 

2. Brevi nozioni sulle Autorità d’ambito. 

2.1. La competenza geografica delle Autorità d’ambito.

2.2. La competenza funzionale delle Autorità d’ambito.

2.3. Autorità di regolazione nazionale e locale: un caso di tragedia degli anticomuni.

3. La soppressione delle Autorità d’ambito: tra contenimento della spesa e (non) riforma dei servizi idrici. 

4. Considerazioni conclusive.


Starting from the Italian Constitutional Court’s decision n. 128/2011, the author examines the effects of the abolition of the Autorità d’ambito Territoriale Ottimale (the regional/subregional regulators of water industry) on the regulatory system in force. After having studied their origins, their purposes and the geographical extent of their jurisdiction, the author analyses their duties, discussing the one-legged coordination with the existing regulatory system of water industry. Then, he shows that the regulation of water services is inefficient, because of: a) the fragmentation of responsibilities among a plethora of subjects, with many overlaps and gaps; b) the disharmonic allocation of functions between different layers of government; c) the uncertain identification of the body which must exercise decision-making powers. The authors gathers that the Italian regulatory system of water industry is an example of the tragedy of the anticommons in the bureaucracy. He concludes that the suppression of the Autorità d’ambito does not appear, ex se, able to reach the aim of cutting the public spending and to improve the faulty existing regulatory system of water industry, which, instead, must be rapidly reformed.